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Applying your community engagement skills
Applying your community engagement skills

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2 Sandford Town

Continue reading through the scenario to understand the situation you are in. You may wish to make a few notes about some of the key features of the location.

Scenario: Sandford Town part 2

One of the first residents of the flats that replaced the terraced houses is a heroin user, which is not known by the landlord. As a vulnerable person, his dealer takes over the property to sell heroin and crack in return for a small supply to the tenant. His drug dealing attracts drug users who come to the flat at all hours to buy their drugs.

Heroin and crack users look for safe secluded locations near their supply and soon break into the derelict houses to take the drugs. They also need a constant source of cash, maybe around £200 a day for heavy users. The area around the dealer, roughly a space of one mile radius, gradually becomes subject to an increase in serious crime. This includes muggings, burglary, carjacking, serious assaults as well as an increase in offences such as shoplifting and theft from motor vehicles. Students become frequent victims of robbery passing through the area as they are seen as soft targets often carrying items such as laptops and mobile phones.

Described image
Figure 2 Serious crime is on the increase

Alongside crime, Anti-social Behaviour (ASB) becomes an increasing problem in the immediate area and complaints to the council and local police increase. The wasteland area becomes covered in litter including drugs paraphernalia discarded by users, some of which is hazardous to health, especially curious children. A high volume of unknown visitors to the block of flats has been noticed by other residents who report it to the landlord.

Inevitable interactions occur between users crossing the waste area and children there resulting in altercations and violence. Drug and alcohol abuse often come hand in hand resulting in an increase in drug/drink driving in and around the area.

Some users sleep rough in the derelict houses causing them to become a health hazard due to increased structural damage, human refuse and drug paraphernalia. Inquisitive children are put at great risk if they go exploring in the houses.

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Figure 3 Derelict buildings


Children may often be seen as the source of ASB in an area but in this scenario they are potentially the biggest victims. At the beginning of the scenario the cause of the problems is unseen and unknown but will become increasing clear as things deteriorate.

Tackling this scenario would need a multi-agency approach between the police, council, housing executive/association, probation, drugs workers and any other stakeholders.

Possible remedies

  • securing the derelict properties, thorough cleaning of wasteland
  • crime prevention advice tailored to residents and students (target hardening)
  • crime prevention advice to children educating them about drugs paraphernalia etc. and the hazards around derelict properties
  • police enforcement around the drug dealer/users and support for the vulnerable tenant
  • crack house closure (England and Wales) under ASBO legislation.