Tenants urged to keep ‘smell diary’ to help tackle Brighton’s drugs problem

People concerned about the smell of marijuana in council flats are being asked to keep diaries as evidence.

Councillor Nikkie Brennan told tenant reps: “There is an issue and our residents should know what they need to do.”

Councillor Brennan spoke out at a Brighton and Hove City Council housing panel at the Whitehawk Inn.

The East Brighton Labour councillor, who also serves as deputy chair of the council’s Housing Committee, said that people should contact the police directly if they were aware of criminal activity.

She said: “People are coming to me and other councillors and asking what we can do.

“Some people find it hard to contact the police directly. There are problems getting through to police because of the lack of resources.

“If you do keep a diary then you have evidence for the (council-employed) field officers to go and knock on the door. They need to have evidence from the diaries.”

Councillor Brennan said that the council housing department’s customer services team were aware that people were concerned about the smell of drugs.

But, she said, there was little that they could do without hard evidence.

Residents were advised to call the customer service line and ask for a diary which would itself be logged as evidence of a problem.

The meeting on yesterday (Monday 16 December) was told that a flat at Robert Lodge, in Whitehawk Road, had been closed and a vulnerable tenant rehoused.

This followed concerns being raised at a previous housing panel meeting that the flat had been used by a suspected “cuckoo” – a drug dealer taking over someone else’s home.

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