Spice problem not over yet, say businesses

Businesses in Lincoln said an increase in police patrols and arrests have improved Spice problems, but say that people are still openly taking drugs in the city.

Restaurants, shops and salons all fear that trade suffers when people take drugs like Spice in the city centre.

Lincolnshire Police arrested 35 people in July for taking drugs, but businesses say that the city’s drug problems are not over yet.

Just over a month ago, The Lincolnite shared a controversial video filmed by the owner of a local salon which revealed how addicts would openly take drugs.

Burce Whetton, the manager at Madame Waffle, has praised salon owner Stephanie West for posting the video: “I accept that there aren’t going to be major changes overnight, but there has been progress.

“There has been the odd incident recently, but there has been a marked improvement. We just need to keep the momentum going if we want the problem to go away.

“This progress is thanks to the young lady at the hairdressers. If she didn’t release that video, which was picked up by The Lincolnite, then there wouldn’t have been any improvements.”

Drug users in Lincoln city centre.

Stephanie West, manager at Root One Salon, told The Lincolnite: “During the day, there have been less people openly taking drugs. I’ve seen two people around the corner, but that isn’t troubling our business.

“I don’t have a problem with it if people are just under the influence, but we have a problem with people using needles and when they are hanging out of their arms. How do I explain that to my daughter when she is at the salon?”

During the interview with The Lincolnite on August 21, a member of staff arrived for their shift at the salon and pointed out that there was someone under the influence of drugs just outside.

She added: “It has been getting better lately, but I have fears about what would happen if that new drug monkey dust makes its way to Lincoln.

“I used to be a prison officer and it wasn’t as bad in there as it has been on the streets of Lincoln.”

Stuart McFadden, manager at Blacks on Lincoln High Street, told The Lincolnite that, in his view, the drug problem has not improved.

He said: “I think that it’s still the same as it was, it hasn’t gotten any better, not quite yet. There’s certainly more police around, though. We don’t see as many people around the shop in the morning, the police must clear them away.

“They are still using the alley nearby as a toilet so the smell is still there, it smells strong in the morning. We are hoping that it will improve if they close the alley down.”


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