Neil Rogers (BA Recreation and Leisure Management, BA Social Work) is Community Development Officer-Youth Services, and Warren Anderson (BEd) is Team Leader-Youth Services at the City of Whitehorse.
A community development approach to deal with public drug use in Box Hill
Article first published online: 29 MAY 2009
2007 Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs
Drug and Alcohol Review
Volume 26, Issue 1, pages 87–95, January 2007
How to Cite
ROGERS, N. and ANDERSON, W. (2007), A community development approach to deal with public drug use in Box Hill. Drug and Alcohol Review, 26: 87–95. doi: 10.1080/09595230601096980
- Issue published online: 29 MAY 2009
- Article first published online: 29 MAY 2009
- Received 9 October 2006; accepted for publication 13 October 2006.
- public drug use;
- community development;
- community policing;
- local government
The use of alcohol and other drugs in public space is one that generates much heat in the public discourse and in the media. Too often the responses called for to reduce the problems of public amenity involve punitive policing and other responses that aim to engineer (mostly) young people out of these public spaces. Often local retailers are a key stakeholder group calling loudest for punitive action. In this Harm Reduction Digest Rogers and Anderson describe a community development approach taken to address these problems in Box Hill in the City of Whitehorse, near Melbourne. This approach which aimed to develop ‘bridging social capital’ between community retailers and other stakeholders in the area appears to have been effective in reducing harm associated with public drug use. Moreover these changes have become institutionalised and the approach has been expanded to address other public amenity problems in the area. It is a very nice example of how drug related harm can be reduced by grass roots networks of local councils, business people, law enforcement and health and welfare service providers to address these issues.