Drug harm reduction

Our drug harm reduction work is one of the priorities identified in the Community Safety and Crime Reduction Strategy 2023 to 2026.

Drug harm reduction

Brighton & Hove experiences a significant amount of drug harm to individuals, communities, and neighbourhoods. Our drug harm reduction work is a priority identified in the Community Safety and Crime Reduction Strategy 2023 to 2026.   

Our work focuses on reducing harm to:

  • exploited children
  • vulnerable adults
  • communities

We want residents to feel confident in reporting drug harm in communities and neighbourhoods.

There's a lot of multi-agency work carried out across services to address drug harm. We aim to be better at communicating what is happening to residents and we're taking action to achieve this.

Community engagement events

We held 2 community engagement events to get residents' views on solutions to drug harm in late 2022. These took place in Woodingdean and Queen’s Park wards.

We used what we learnt from those events to plan our citywide Community Forum on Drug Harm in February 2023. This was alongside an online survey open to all residents and business owners.  

Our objectives were to: 

  • provide a forum for community members to tell us about their experience of drug harm 
  • share information about the multi-agency work ongoing across the city 
  • promote understanding of the hidden harms associated with drug dealing
  • show how crucial reporting is in addressing harms
  • increase trust and confidence in reporting drug-related antisocial behaviour and crime 
  • start a dialogue which improves our communications with communities

We listened to residents and their voices have informed our plans going forward. 

Drug harm

90% of organised criminal networks are involved in drug dealing.   

Drug harm can impact all residents. Much of the harm reported relates to safeguarding children and vulnerable adults. 

We’re also focussed on the wider harms felt by residents, such as:

  • associated anti-social behaviour
  • drug litter

We want to help people to feel confident about reporting all the harms associated with drugs. That way, we can direct resources to where they're most needed.

'Cuckooing' is when drug dealers use a victim's home to store, prepare or distribute drugs. A report disrupting cuckooing can reduce other problems, such as drug litter.  

Read more about actions we're taking to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour.

Importance of reporting

It’s very important to report any drug-related crime or anti-social behaviour to Sussex Police. This will support action to reduce drug harm in the city.

You may think something has already been reported and services are aware, but this is often not the case. We need residents to report so we know if there's a problem.

If there's a report of suspected cuckooing or child exploitation, the council and police will respond. They will safeguard the person who may otherwise feel they have nowhere to turn. We work hard to avoid criminalising victims. 

More reports of drug-related crime and anti-social behaviour will focus more resources on particular areas. More resources mean:

  • fewer drug dealers in the area
  • less anti-social behaviour
  • less drug litter

How to report drug-related crime

To report drug-related crime without giving any of your details: 

Crimestoppers pass the information on to the police confidentially.

To directly report a crime to Sussex Police:

When to call 999

Call 999 emergency services if:

  • there’s an emergency that requires immediate police help
  • a crime is taking place right then
  • there’s a danger to life
  • there’s an immediate threat or fear of violence
  • a suspect is in the vicinity