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    Participant

    Very pleased to hear that the phone boxes are now being removed, as I’ve never seen anyone use them to make a phonecall in years, but looked like a hotbed for dealer activity.

    It bothers me greatly that a lot of expense, from various quarters, is having to be incurred to mitigate the effects of the drug problems in Wrexham. In this case BT are having to remove phone boxes (I assume at their own expense or otherwise at the council’s). My understanding is that there are businesses in the town centre and on the technology park who have hired contractors to remove undergrowth from around their buildings to deter rough sleepers from pitching there and intimidating staff (I know of one organisation where this has definitely happened, and was told there were others). As well as the financial costs, cutting down on the vegetation has implications for wildlife. Then there was the Groves – the portaloo and the work done and fencing brought in to “prevent any future settlements”. Handing out free needles. A hotline for reporting discarded needles. PSPOs (that appear to be only sporadically enforced). Changes to the interior layout of the bus station. There are bound to be other examples.

    Yet the authorities (council, Welsh Government, Betswi Cadwaladr, etc) don’t appear to put in anything like the same amount of effort to solve the drug problem in the first place. Their inaction on this issue impacts on us all.
    I just don’t understand how the authorities in Wales, and the addiction/homeless services, cannot get together and put some joined up, meaningful and effective policies into place to deal with the problem. It should not be for others to have the expense and inconvenience of dealing with the resulting mess.

    in reply to: Wrexham Discarded Needle Hotline #140459

    bubble
    Participant

    Needle exchanges are available at:
    Wrexham CDAT, Swn-y-Coed, Grove Road, Wrexham, LL11 1DY
    AND
    Detox Unit, Hafan Wen, Watery Road, Wrexham, LL13 7NQ

    The number to call to report needles is:
    Pride in Our Streets (street Scene) – 01978 298989
    OR
    email them on contact-us@wrexham.gov.uk
    OR complete the online form at http://www.wrexham.gov.uk/english/env_services/service_requests/syringes.cfm

    Needles can also be disposed of at any GPs or pharmacy.

    How anyone can say there’s no way to report it, or there’s no needle exchange is beyond me, and simply strikes me as apathy from some of the general public, for which we have a strong representative sample of the apathetic population right here on this forum.

    If you want to see fewer needles in public spaces, you need to report it and support the ‘authorities’ in keeping the county clean. The problem isn’t with the ‘authorities’ (as you can see above) to fix, as there’s plenty of opportunity for exchange or disposal, it lies with the users. Clearly the users don’t give a fig, it’s therefore up to the public to report any needles that they spot.

    Want to propose any other solutions?

    On this thread about the hotline, there are 8 “voices”, which is clearly not a sufficient number to support reliable inferences about attitudes in Wrexham. This sample is also self-selected and self-reporting. I fail to see how it is a representative sample of anything.

    I prefer to think of myself not as apathetic, more as cynical and weary, ground down by previous numerous but ultimately futile attempts to get issues dealt with.

    Well done to those users who engage with needle exchange schemes or take the time to dispose of needles at the GP or pharmacy. In this item http://www.wrexham.com/news/increased-policing-promised-after-chief-inspector-humbled-by-accounts-of-rhosddu-anti-social-behaviour-122554.html, published a year ago today, a person who had attended a meeting about the problems in Rhosddu stated that “The health board have issued 250,000 syringes but collected none”. Perhaps they were making it up, or misheard it. Maybe the situation has undergone a vast improvement over the year, and I just didn’t notice.

    As for other solutions, I don’t think needles should simply be given out in the first place. If addicts cannot be relied upon to engage with needle exchange programmes voluntarily, then make then compulsory. It’s curious how the issue of discarded needles is out of the control of the council or the NHS or the police or [insert organisation here], yet blame can be apportioned to me. I will continue to ignore any discarded needles that I see – I do not find being accused of being part of the problem to be a persuasive argument to do otherwise. I’m not endangering anyone – others are exposed to the same level of danger as I am, by the same people (drug addicts), using free needles that are handed out by the same authorities (NHS, Welsh Gov, or whoever), who are well aware that many needles will be discarded in this way. Perhaps when I feel that the authorities are taking a more responsible approach to the issue, then I might do so too.

    Another solution might be to set up a telephone number for reporting drug addicts where someone will come and pluck them off the street and take them to rehab or prison – that’s a number I’d ring.

    in reply to: Wrexham Discarded Needle Hotline #140398

    bubble
    Participant

    Who do we report this issue to, is their a phone number to contact. Mind you I have never found any needles.

    Exactly, and would there be a response to someone reporting it in any case ?

    and as Zinger says why isn’t a needle exchange policy done, again the type’s/users of these sort of issues bear no responsibility whatsoever for their actions which is why generally they get such little sympathy.

    As far as Bubble being part of the problem, that seems a bit harsh and unfair !

    Thanks. Actually, I am not part of the problem. I may not be part of the solution (or rather the solution as Animal Mother sees it), but neither am I part of the problem; the needles are there regardless of whether I see them or not. I don’t discard the needles; I’m under no obligation to report them and I’m not expected to report other litter, such as dog sh*t. I have seen needles as I walk to work, in full view of anyone who passes by – including people taking their kids to school – and they have still been there when I walk home at the end of the day. Perhaps other people are not reporting them either, or maybe they are reporting them and no action is taken. It might be interesting to know how many people notice needles and don’t ring the number, but they’re not likely to admit to it on this thread now.
    I was assuming the total of 40 calls was absurdly low, but perhaps it is a triumph for Wrexham. Perhaps there really were only 40 other discarded needles in Wrexham in the space of a year, and EVERYONE who saw them reported them (well, everyone other than me, and those on my walking route).
    I don’t know what the number is to ring to report it, whether it’s a free phone number, 24 hours, answered as promptly as 101, or how long it takes for someone to come and collect the needles. Does the needle have to be on public land – and how can I determine whether it is? Should I remain on site until the needle is collected, perhaps set up a cordon? Should I factor in extra time for my journey in order to provide this public service?
    As I entered a pharmacy a few weeks ago two women were leaving, one complaining to the other that she had “only” been given 8 needles to last her the weekend. That’s 8 needles that she’s unlikely to have taken back to the pharmacy. Even if not dumped in a public place, where do these needles end up? How safely are they disposed of?
    My recollection is that the free needles are dispensed in accordance with Welsh Government rules and that the NHS/Council/Police/whoever have no say in this and so are apparently unable to do anything about it.
    I have made more than my fair share of telephone calls about anti-social behaviour, drug use, drug dealing and violent behaviour. I’ve contacted the police, social services and housing associations. I have learned that at best they do nothing, and are usually indiscreet too. There is very little point in reporting anything.

    in reply to: Penycae Community Centre – Difficult Decisions Lie #140327

    bubble
    Participant

    First you need to call both of your Council Members to account as they surely should be discussing the potential closure with all of the existing users. Cllr Joan Lowe as a Member of the Council Executive.

    You need a FULL breakdown of all income and expenditure on the Centre that is externally verified as certain cists tend to creep in on Council budget lines that may not be applicable to this Centre.

    This will not be the first time they have tried to close a building based on false information — take a look at Spalshmagic– £850k loss yet it will be three years in January for it to have survived.

    You also need to check if any housing developer would benefit from this plot of land as access to a bigger plot – look beyond the obvious as income from land sales is crucial to this Councils plans.

    Check with your Community Council about what information they are aware of that perhaps they haven’t shared either.

    It seems such a shame that we cannot rely on our councillors to act honestly. I appreciate that they cannot represent the views of everyone in their constituency, but it feels like they don’t even try to act in their constituents’ best interest. It’s as if their allegiances are to businesses or to themselves.


    bubble
    Participant

    Two more questions on NPS (previously known as legal highs) – final ones on this topic:

    1. With the spice issue has anyone thought to ask or find out where they are getting it from and raid the suppliers?

    2. Are there spice problems in Rhos or Llangollen or just Wrexham Town Centre?

    PW: When this problem first came to our attention our intelligence was not well defined in knowing where it came from. It is better defined now, and have conducted successful warrants where the product has been seized. This stance will continue as we go forward.
    One thing to be aware of though, when we did the last successful warrant, the street price went from £5 to £50 a bag in a day due to supply issue.
    The incidents of shop lifting rose significantly in the following week as the cohort turned to crime to fund it. The knock on effect if a much bigger one than is realised.

    SO on no2: There are not anywhere near the issues in Rhos with regards to spice.

    If the users are turning to crime to fund their habit, perhaps you need to also focus on the users – on the demand not just the supply. But these are the people you choose not to “criminalise” for drugs offences because they do not have spare cash to pay their fines. Why does NWP persist in taking a soft approach to the addicts themselves?


    bubble
    Participant

    1) Is it not insensitive for a Police Office/ PCSO to visit the home of someone reporting anti social behaviour on their doorstep in full view of the perpetrators?

    2) What reasoning is behind moving the Police Station to Llay when the prison is on the Industrial Estate?

    SO: Depending on the context of the situation, I would need the fine detail of that job as it may well be. If you want to speak to me or Paul we can respond in more detail.

    SO: There is no connection between the prison and the police station, they are separate entities.

    On 1), this is not an isolated incident. It has happened to me at least twice. As a result, next time I hear my neighbour being beaten up by her partner I won’t be reporting it to the police because the tactlessness of the police responding puts me in danger. And there is at least one other person on this forum who has suffered retaliation due to police mishandling calls about anti-social behaviour.


    bubble
    Participant

    Why are people being allowed to openly drink alcohol and take drugs in Wrexham Town Centre despite there being a PSPO in force? Why is this not being effectively enforced by yourselves?

    PW: The PSPO is owned by the council. We play an active part in supporting the council as crime and disorder partner. Drug dealing is obviously something that is a p0lice matter to resolve and I appreciate at times it looks like we have not done anything as there are alot of people from a challenging background in the town centre. The penalty for breaching the PSPO is a monetary fine so on occasion it is a pointless exercise to arrest them for breach, because that cohort do not have money, so we escort them to third sector service providers to provide assistance to them. We have issued over 100 PSPO tickets since it came into being, so it is not that we do not do any, it is one of a range of methods available to us.

    I do not understand the approach of it being pointless to arrest someone simply because they do not have the money to pay a fine. That approach isn’t taken to, say, parking violations. Also, some of these are people in receipt of benefits – it is their choice whether to spend these funds on drugs or a fine. If there are no consequences for their behaviour, why would they ever change their behaviour? If they cannot pay a fine, then a court should deal with the issue. To me it seems that some people are penalised for failing to act lawfully, whilst others can act with impunity based on nothing more than whether, in the opinion of a police officer, they are in a position to pay a fine.

    in reply to: Virgin Media cable laying in Wrexham #140052

    bubble
    Participant

    I honestly believe it’s because our councillors are a bunch of amateurs. It’s our own fault for electing them, but I don’t feel we had much of a choice. Do we even know whether the spin they gave us about themselves when canvassing was accurate? Does anyone do any fact checking?
    I feel that Wrexham council basically aspires to mediocrity – and still fails to attain it.

    in reply to: Savings rather than Cuts Ty Pawb #139874

    bubble
    Participant

    I think a better name for it would have been Eliffant Gwyn.

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by  bubble.
    in reply to: Drunken/druggie Idiots #139783

    bubble
    Participant

    Was in town Tuesday afternoon visiting the council help desk on Lord street. There was a fat druggie sparked out on the floor by the arch statue. When I finished my business the fat lump was on all fours trying to stand up. His complete ass was exposed..not a pretty site Why can’t the council not get these idiots off the street?
    Why should people have to witness this sort of thing?

    And this is in an area with a PSPO.

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