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21
May
2019

Ire over addicts – HERALD SUN

Speaking to the media on the many issues of the North Richmond Injecting Facility. There is frustration from residents and the community about the changing position of the Andrews Government and an increase in shocking anti-social behaviour and crime.

DRUG addicts shooting up and having sex in public only metres from a trial supervised injecting room in Richmond has residents demanding immediate action to clean up their streets.

Almost 11 months after the room opened, footage from a nearby laneway reveals incidents including drug use, violence and drug deals.

Addicts plague trial clinic area Richmond residents still face drug use in streets DRUG addicts are continuing to shoot up just metres from Richmond’s supervised injecting room, as footage emerges of threatening behaviour and public sex acts.

A multistorey carpark next to the centre is a den for drug use with a string of users seen shooting up – in some cases as security watched on – in the past week.

Police were called as a drugaffected man stopped traffic as he stumbled along the street in view of a primary school playground.

Footage from the past four months also showed lewd behaviour in a nearby Richmond laneway, that included: AT least six separate incidents of public drug use; A MAN appearing to hold a weapon to a woman’s throat, before “strip searching” her; AN apparent “drug deal” involving four people, and; A COUPLE performing sex acts.

The laneway is lined with homes and regularly used by residents and families.

One property owner told the Herald Sun that the injecting room, opened at North Richmond Community Health mid-last year, attracted drug users “from far and wide.”

“We were for the injecting room because we were hopeful that it would ease the strain on ambulance services,” he said.

“But it’s a Band-Aid, it’s not a solution.”

Richmond’s Bruce Maton compared drug users to “White Walkers from over the Wall” in Game of Thrones, who marched from North Richmond railway station to “score” on Victoria St and then shoot up.

Other residents have found packets of needles stuffed in their garden drain, and reported property damage and having to move bloodied needles from their driveway.

They have called for action on the suburb’s drug crisis, and floated moving the injecting room, shutting it down, or opening others to disperse its “honey-pot effect.”

Police have deployed an extra 15 officers in the area over the past two years, and have arrested more than 20 people in recent months for offences including drug possession, trafficking and assault.

“The community can be assured Victoria Police’s priority is making sure people are safe and feel safe in Richmond and across the City of Yarra,” a spokeswoman said.

 

Opposition health spokeswoman Georgie Crozier said the trial’s “ham-fisted mismanagement” was putting lives and safety at risk.

“These pictures show that (Premier) Daniel Andrews has totally mismanaged this injecting room trial and the streets of this suburb are dangerous,” she said.

 

But the state government argued that the room had “safely managed” more than 650 overdoses.

“The medically supervised injecting room trial is about keeping Victorians safe and saving lives,” Mental Health Minister Martin Foley said.

“That is precisely what the evidence shows it is doing.”

 

A link to the HERALD SUN is HERE

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