Children as young as ten are
experimenting with drugs such as cannabis and speed on the streets of Coventry. The
youngsters know where to get it and who to buy it from according to a report out today.
The report also says that heroin is readily available and one dealer is known to be
selling the so-called date-rape drug Rohypnol.
The shocking picture has been painted by the city councils Action Against Crime
policy team which has spent the last 12 months working in parts of Tile Hill and Canley as
part of a major drive to cut crime.
Team co-ordinator Ian Tresadern said he made no apologies for making the drugs findings
public but warned people not to overreact. He said:
Tile Hill and Canley are no different from any other suburban city area
across the UK. It is a sad fact but the truth is that youngsters are getting involved in
drugs. We hope that by highlighting the problem people will help us do something about it.
He said that most of the information the team had collected had been anecdotal but by
observing people on the streets and talking to locals they had been able to form a picture
of drug use in both areas.
He added he had only heard of one case of someone dealing in Rohypnol but one was
enough. He said:
If we hadnt included this in our report then we are failing people.
We are failing the girl in the Coventry nightclub who feels a bit, or probably more than a
bit, dizzy after a drink of lager and lime and later gets dragged off by a man.
We would also be failing the parents and teenagers of the city if we tried
to hide the reality of drugs. The important thing is to gather information, face the
reality and then do something about it.
The city councils Action Against Crime policy team have been working in Tile Hill
and Canley for the last year as part of a pilot project to cut crime. The project, called
Reclaiming Coventry, has involved a whole variety of people working together from police,
social services and local residents groups to politicians and technical surveillance
The brief was to fight back against long term crime and make people feel safer in their
As well as looking at the behaviour of youngsters and criminals the team has worked
with the elderly, introducing a Domestic Security drive offering to fit locks and security
devices to homes for free.
Victim Support has also been involved in speaking to local people about their fear of
crime and close circuit television has been used across the two areas to clamp down on
Today councillors unanimously backed the Reclaim project and voted to allocate a
further £450,000 to keep the schemes up and running in Tile Hill and Canley as well as
looking to expand it to other areas of the city. The vote came after hearing that since
reclaim began its work crime in Tile Hill and Canley has dropped. In Tile Hill figures
showed reported crime was down by 17 per cent and in Canley crime had dropped by 47 per
Mr Tresadern said he felt Reclaim had made a difference. He said:
People do feel safer. People have been exceptionally grateful for the
domestic security service which has fitted locks to more than 200 homes. I remember
speaking to one pensioner who said he felt safer in his home and also much happier to
leave his home, knowing it was secure.
We hope that in the last 12 months we have proved that the Reclaim model
which attacks crime and the fear of crime, from many angles does work."