Spice: Bad for business in Lincoln

Business owners in Lincoln say they are worried about the effect drug taking is having on their trade.

Several businesses told The Lincolnite that trade is suffering because of the growing problem.

Groups of addicts are often spotted loitering and taking drugs on Clasketgate, near to the New Theatre Royal and Root One Salon.

Emma Olivier-Townrow believes the nighttime economy has been hurt by the intimidating sight of drug users.

“Some of their activity and behaviour can be quite intimidating for customers who are arriving early evening.

“I think it can sometimes make the High Street feel like a really intimidating place to go.

“I certainly do fear for the night time economy and that the atmosphere, at present, in the city centre puts people off.”

Stephanie West has spotted drug users openly administering drugs outside her Salon and believes it prevents walk-in customers from coming in.

Stephanie West, Root One Salon, said: “We rely quite a lot on walk-in clients and they’ve been walking down the street, turning back, not wanting to come in after seeing the groups.

“Walk-in customers we could potentially have, potentially boost the business, just aren’t coming in.

“Outside my salon I’ve seen people with a spoon and a lighter burning drugs to inject into their arms, into their legs.

“Some horrendous stuff. Just disgusting. It doesn’t give a good impression.

“It gives Lincoln a bad name, really.”

The Lincolnite reached out to Lincolnshire Police for a comment.

Assistant Chief Constable Kerrin Wilson said: “We take seriously the concerns of this business owner, as we do all reports of drug-taking in the city.

“As with all operational policing, a balance must be struck in terms of resources, but this does not diminish the seriousness with which we approach this issue.

“There has been and continues to be significant enforcement against drug dealing in the city centre, as well as other criminal behaviour. This is a priority for us.

“The issue of drug-taking in the city is one that requires a unified approach and, as such, we work with partners in an effort to address the broader challenges.”

“We know from our partners that usage has links with mental health, homelessness and isolation from families and the general community so we can only really solve this with their help.

“This includes ensuring users are engaged with health agencies, addiction services, outreach support, and the local authorities who provide housing and social services.”

Just over a week ago, a man ‘on drugs’ stole from customers plates and sexually assaulted a staff member at Churchill’s Bar and Grill – just around the corner from Clasketgate.

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