Drink and drug problems under spotlight in Derbyshire town ‘plagued’ by anti-social behaviour

Ripley town centre
Ripley town centre

Residents in Ripley are to get the chance to have their say on increasing anti-social behaviour in the town centre.

A special meeting of the town council will take place at 7pm on Tuesday, September 19 at Ripley Town Hall.

The Greenway

The Greenway

The meeting has been arranged in response to growing concerns around street drinking and illegal drug taking in the town centre and public open spaces such as the Greenway.

Leader of Ripley Town Council, Councillor Steve Freeborn, said the problems seem to have been caused by people from outside the town.

He said: “There seems to have been a policy that has resulted in people being rehoused in Ripley from other places.

“These people have a stack of problems and this manifests itself with people getting smashed out of their heads in town.”

A lot of people in the town will have seen this behaviour.

Steve Freeborn

The police have been invited to the meeting as have Futures Homescape and representatives of the youth and social services teams.

Inspector Dave Parker, from Derbyshire police, said: “We recognise that drug taking and street drinking are issues effecting Ripley Town centre and it is my aim to work with local agencies and the community to tackle this.

“Local residents have taken to social media to discuss their concerns and these have been picked up on via the Safer Neighbourhood team.

“My officers will be having an enhanced presence in and around the town centre, including the Greenway, by increasing patrols and engaging with the local community. I would urge anyone who sees an officer to talk to them and discuss any concerns that you may have.

Leader of Ripley Town Council, Steve Freeborn

Leader of Ripley Town Council, Steve Freeborn

“We will also be working with licensed premises in the area to make them aware of local issues.”

Coun Freeborn said that while the town council had no direct responsibility over these matters, he hoped the meeting could act as a catalyst for further action.

“A lot of people in the town will have seen some of this behaviour,” said Coun Freeborn.

“We have also seen it ourselves. My wife was out walking the dog and she saw some drug users using a dog bin to take drugs off.

“Some of it is so blatant.”

At the meeting the normal procedures will be suspended to allow residents to come and have a say, before members discuss the matter further as part of their agenda.

For more information about the meeting, contact townclerk@ripleytowncouncil.gov.uk.