Drugs problems are still rearing their ugly head in Brackley, prompting a former magistrate to warn that more needs to be done.
As police get ready to close their front office in the town, county councillor Jim Broomfield said that schools and authorities need to work together to tackle the problem.
A 46-year old man is still under investigation after heroin was found during a raid at two flats in Rossiter House, earlier this month. A 41-year-old man received a caution for possession of cannabis as part of the same raid, and drug workers in the area say that the problem among young people is not going away.
Mr Broom, who was a magistrate for ten years, said: “Schools are often warned in advance when they are searched for drugs, I think it’s a big mistake, they should be much stricter on crime.
“I know drugs affect people of all ages, they can damage and destroy lives.
“It isn’t just Brackley, but we have problems with drugs and it hasn’t been a priority for the police.
“I don’t agree with closing the front desk, they keep gradually cutting back, there was no consultation and I found out about it on the police website.”
Ali Mills, of the CAN Young Persons Team, which supports people affected by drugs across South Northants, said: “There has always been a steady supply in the Brackley area with ketamine, NPS (new psychoactive substances) and legal highs being readily available.
“We have not seen a dip or increase in young people coming to us over drug use since we have worked in Brackley.”
A spokesman for Sovereign Housing, which runs the Rossiter House flats, said: “Our housing and anti-social behaviour teams work closely with the police to make our homes and communities safe places to live. We have secured the properties since the searches were carried out, and will continue to support the police with their investigations.”
Although the police front office will close, the Safer Community Team and Local Response Team will still use the station as an operating base. And Ms Mills said that CAN has worked with police in Brackley to help in the fight against drugs.
She said: “I do not know that the community will be affected by the closure of the enquiry desk.
“The police in the area have been very proactive and in CANs experience Brackley has a very good and supportive community with links to schools in the area.”