Local resident, Mr Matloob Hussain, and Cllr Allah Ditta holding used syringes and drugs paraphernalia left by drug users
Residents in Palfrey are demanding action by the police and Walsall Council over an alleyway that is being used by prostitutes and drug users. The footpath, that runs behind homes and businesses, has now become a no go area for local residents at night because they are too afraid to use it.
Labour councillor, Allah Ditta, has now joined in the demands for action after seeing for himself the problems of discarded needles and drug paraphernalia that are left scattered on the ground. Local people fear if nothing is done that children could be harmed by used syringes, and teenagers could be drawn into drug use.
Mr Matloob Hussian, who has lived in the area for over 40 years, said the problem is getting worse by the day. “The alleyway is a public footpath that connects Wednesbury Road and Corporation Street West. It is used by prostitutes at night and drug users who inject heroin. If you walk down here in the morning you can always find the needles and syringes they throw away,” he explained. “As soon as it gets dark local people don’t use it, they are too afraid.”
He added dealers sometimes meet at its entrance which has prompted fears youngsters will be drawn into the drugs trade.
Cllr Ditta said he would be calling for gates to be installed at both ends of the alleyway which could be locked at night and increased police patrols but feared public spending cuts in the council and police could delay action. “Walsall Borough Safety Partnership has responsibility for combating crime and it is good at the paperwork but because of cuts, in reality they are doing nothing.
“When I contact council officers with concerns, I am told that the decision has to be taken by a cabinet member. That takes time and means you have to go begging to the portfolio holder for action. You shouldn’t have to do that”