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Tough new police measures to tackle brazen drug dealing

PUBLISHED: 07:30 03 July 2018

District and county councillor, Julie Brociek-Coulton, walks along an alleyway off Silver Street with PC James Marrison, where there is evidence of drug users using the alley. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

District and county councillor, Julie Brociek-Coulton, walks along an alleyway off Silver Street with PC James Marrison, where there is evidence of drug users using the alley. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2018

More officers on the streets, alleyway clean-ups and better communication are part of a police response to "brazen drug dealing" in Norwich's Sewell area.

Mike Lorenz, owner of the Whalebone Freehouse in Norwich (left), next to Steve Fiske, general manager of the Whalebone Freehouse, Picture: SOPHIE WYLLIEMike Lorenz, owner of the Whalebone Freehouse in Norwich (left), next to Steve Fiske, general manager of the Whalebone Freehouse, Picture: SOPHIE WYLLIE

The measures come after complaints in the past month from 50 residents about heroin, cocaine and cannabis dealing in the area, which takes in Sewell Park, Silver Road and the streets in between.

Cheaper brand cider cans can be evidence of drug users using an alleyway off Silver Street. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYCheaper brand cider cans can be evidence of drug users using an alleyway off Silver Street. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The fears were raised at two public meetings at Silver Road Community Centre and were called by the Sewell Community Group and Friends.

District and county councillor, Julie Brociek-Coulton, walks along an alleyway off Silver Street with PC James Marrison, where there is evidence of drug users using the alley. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYDistrict and county councillor, Julie Brociek-Coulton, walks along an alleyway off Silver Street with PC James Marrison, where there is evidence of drug users using the alley. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Julie Brociek-Coulton, city and county councillor for the Sewell ward who is secretary of the community group, said: “You see people trying to deal drugs next to the Silver Road Community Centre. People have never known the problem to be so rife.”

Cheaper brand cider cans can be evidence of drug users using an alleyway off Silver Street. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYCheaper brand cider cans can be evidence of drug users using an alleyway off Silver Street. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

She added the issue used to be visible on certain roads but it had spread across the ward over the past year, including alleyways and some of its properties.

A lot of cigarette ends together can be evidence of drug users using an alleyway off Silver Street. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYA lot of cigarette ends together can be evidence of drug users using an alleyway off Silver Street. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

“It is making people afraid,” said Mrs Brociek-Coulton.

A lot of cigarette ends together can be evidence of drug users using an alleyway off Silver Street. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYA lot of cigarette ends together can be evidence of drug users using an alleyway off Silver Street. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

But she added: “This community is a lovely area and people are friendly.”

The councillor was happy Norfolk Police was taking action.

Insp Dan Cocks, who is leading Sewell area policing, said tackling drug dealing was a priority.

He said between March and May this year the number of drug-related incidents in the Sewell area had decreased by 27pc, compared with the same period in 2017.

Insp Cocks believed that was partly because of better communication between residents and the police.

He added officers from a dedicated eight-strong neighbourhood team would patrol drug hotspots and officers would work closely with community groups and councils.

Insp Cocks added: “The high-visibility patrols are a deterrent.”

The alleyways will also be cleaned up and gates could be put up at the end of some of the cut-throughs.

He urged residents to communicate concerns to norwichnorthlpc@norfolk.pnn.police.uk or call 101 or 999.

Sgt Jon Church, Sewell area neighbourhood sergeant, said: “People are very brazen about drug dealing. We want to focus on these issues.”

Residents’ drug dealing fears

A woman has spoken about her mental health problems because of the impact of suspected drug dealing in the Sewell area.

The 34-year-old, who wished to remain anonymous, moved into her city council-owned flat in 2009.

Problems started in her block after an individual moved into the building early this year.

She claims “unsavoury people” are shouting inside and outside the block late at night and early in the morning.

The 34-year-old can also smell cannabis, witnesses packages being dropped off at anti-social hours and is distracted by slamming doors.

Speaking about the problem she said: “I cannot sleep because of it and my mental wellbeing is affected.”

She added she has lost her job because of lack of sleep.

Mike Lorenz, owner of the Whalebone Freehouse on Magdalen Road, said he was concerned about the use of illegal drugs in the Sewell area.

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