Derbyshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Hardyal Dhindsa today announced grounds maintenance contractors are about to move in to a Derby site plagued by drug addicts to clear the area and help alleviate problems.
Work will start on December 12 to clear a four-acre area at Friar Gate Goods Yard of trees and shrubbery which have acted as a screen to the activities of drug takers in the past.
The move follows two multi-agency meetings called by Commissioner Hardyal Dhindhsa involving the landowner, local police and the council to address the issues, which are blighting the lives of local people.
Andrew Bock, a director of Clowes Developments, which owns the land, said a number of potential solutions had been discussed during the talks and a decision to clear the area had been seen as the best place to begin.
The company has now hired Derbyshire-based Midland Tree Management to clear the area and work is due to start on December 12.
Commenting on the move, Mr Dhindsa said: “This is a really positive forward and demonstrates the power of multiple organisations coming together to tackle a problem jointly.
“One of the issues with the site as it is currently is the fact that bushes and shrubs allow those engaging in illegal activity to be hidden from the view of passing pedestrians and motorists. Once the site is cleared, there will be less incentive for drug users to meet and we will hopefully see some improvement.
“We will continue to work with the company and local residents to monitor the situation and plan to re-convene in the future to reassess the situation.”
Mr Bock added: “When I met with the Commissioner, Cllr Martin Rawson and Sgt Matthew Edwards, the conclusion we all came to was that if the area was more visible from the road, this might alleviate some of the issues. Other steps will follow that will hopefully deter people from passing through the site.
“We’re basically removing all the trees and shrubbery within the vicinity of the Bonded Warehouse so people can no longer hide in the shrubbery as they will be seen.
“We’ve always known this has been an issue but collectively we’ve come together to try and come up with solutions. It’s not going to stop people taking drugs – that will happen elsewhere – but it will hopefully improve this area considerably. Within a month it will look a lot different.”
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Posted on Sunday 4th December 2016