Stairwells blighted by drug paraphernalia and bodily fluids in Norwich

20 June 2019

Green Party councillor Sandra Bogelein is urging Norwich City Council to help residents in the Russell Street area whose lives are blighted by drug-related issues outside their homes.

She has said that residents of blocks of flats near Russell Street and Old Palace Road frequently come home to find that a drug user has either defecated, urinated or vomited on the communal staircase that leads to their flats. Drug paraphernalia is also often found in these communal areas.

Councillor Sandra Bogelein said:

“This is an absolutely unacceptable situation for residents. No one should have to put up with this and Norwich City Council needs to find a way to help residents.

“The situation is even more problematic as it really impacts on children living in the area. Care staff from a nearby school have reported that children talk frequently about seeing people using drugs in the stairwells of their buildings. This sight clearly causes the children a great amount of distress.

“For years residents have asked the council to install locks on blocks of flats to ensure that staircases cannot be used as drug shelters and toilets. But at the moment there are no plans to install new security systems for any of the blocks in this area for years to come.

“At the next council meeting I will again be highlighting the issue to the cabinet member and I want to know what the council is going to do to help these residents and their children. The plain truth is none of us would find it acceptable to come home to human excreta on our staircase and these residents should not have to put up with it either.”

She adds:

“This is obviously a problem that goes far beyond the city council. Given the problem with drug abuse and addiction that we experience in Norwich and nationally, we need to start a new conversation on how we deal with the issue. The country needs to have an honest conversation about the reasons behind drug addiction and the most effective approaches to preventing and treating addiction.”

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