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Vomit, faeces and drugs - Council urged to help residents 'blighted' by problems outside their homes

PUBLISHED: 13:09 21 June 2019 | UPDATED: 15:05 21 June 2019

Green Party councillor Sandra Bogelein said people living in flats near Russell Street and Old Palace Road frequently come home to find drug users have defecated, urinated or vomited in the communal staircase area. Picture: Andrew Stone

Green Party councillor Sandra Bogelein said people living in flats near Russell Street and Old Palace Road frequently come home to find drug users have defecated, urinated or vomited in the communal staircase area. Picture: Andrew Stone

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Norwich City Council is being urged to help residents whose lives are being "blighted" by drug-related issues outside their homes.

A damaged door on Russell Street. Picture: Dominic GilbertA damaged door on Russell Street. Picture: Dominic Gilbert

Green Party councillor Sandra Bogelein said people living in flats near Russell Street and Old Palace Road "frequently" come home to find drug users have defecated, urinated or vomited in the communal staircase area.

She further claimed that care staff at a nearby school have reported children talking about seeing people using drugs in the stairwells of their buildings.

Mrs 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."

Mrs Bogelein said residents had "for years" been asking the council to install locks on the doors to the flat blocks to ensure the staircases cannot be used as "drug shelters" and toilets.

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She said residents have complained about finding drug paraphernalia in the communal areas.

Mrs Bogelein added: "At the moment there are no plans to install new security systems for any of the blocks in this area for years to come."

Gail Harris, Norwich City Council's cabinet member for social housing, claimed "door entry systems" were unlikely to solve the issues alone.

She said: "These are complex issues and we are working with the police and other agencies to address them against a backdrop of long term cuts to public services.

"While door entry systems alone are unlikely to solve these problems, we are reviewing our current installation and maintenance programme in light of these changing needs."

Mrs Bogelein said she would be raising the issue at the next full Norwich council meeting.

"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 said.

"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. T

"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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