We support the police view that this is not an issue that we can “arrest our way out of”. We support the approach of safeguarding vulnerable drug users and drug-runners and targeting law enforcement at those who are running the drug dealing operations. We know that children excluded from school are at increased risk of exploitation. Identifying and supporting vulnerable adolescents will be our key priority. Drug-related deaths are far too high, and much higher than similar places in the country.
Communities know their own area and needs and can find their own solutions to improve the safety of their neighbourhood if they are not stifled by ‘top down’ approaches. This is crucial because where people are confident to spend time with each other in their community it is harder for dealers to establish themselves. There have been some brilliant examples of grass-roots community action to improve outdoor space and connection with neighbours that shows what can be achieved when people are empowered to use their skills and strengths and work together.
Invest in drug and alcohol treatment including outreach and access to residential detox
Lobby government for additional funding so that we can provide extended holistic services that break the cycle of chaotic drug use in our market and coastal towns. This work will be possible in Greater Norwich due to funding already secured but there is need across the county.
Learn from best practice in other areas of the country to implement a radical and evidence-based approach to drug treatment and campaign for seized assets to be spent locally on treatment
Take the safeguarding of vulnerable adolescents seriously and invest in youth work and support to meet their needs
Take robust action to reduce school exclusions, including ‘off-rolling’, fixed-term and permanent exclusion
Extend training in Modern Slavery to all staff working with young people and vulnerable adults across the county
Make the process of raising safeguarding concerns about vulnerable adults easier, especially online & via telephone
Invest in community development workers as a public health priority to work alongside communities to develop hyper-local solutions to tackle inequality, improve safety and physical and mental health