A POLICE chief has revealed research showing there are 60 rehab or accommodation centres in Boscombe for drug abusers.
Residents have often said the concentration of rehab centres has created many of the area’s problems – and the new research will be used to lobby the Government.
Chief Inspector Chris Weeks, who was speaking at October’s meet of Boscombe Business Forum, said until the research was done it was not known how many centres there were.
He said: “We have ranked them on which cause concern. About 30 cause us concern at the moment.
“We are looking into how they operate and what their business models are and how we can try and change the way they operate and get an understanding there’s a saturation in quite a tight area.”
Boscombe community campaigner Lisa Northover told the Echo after the meeting: “For years we were told that there were fewer than 10 drug rehab places operating in Boscombe.
“Residents always thought there were more. Finally it has been looked into.”
Bournemouth council said in its September newsletter that it is “working to tackle unregulated accommodation offering treatment for substance users”.
Council leader John Beesley wrote: “We are working with the police and our other partners, together with the MP for Bournemouth East, to raise this issue as a matter of urgency with the government.”
Helene Bowman-Brown, chair of the Friends of Roumelia Lane, said: “I am not saying all treatment centres are bad.
“I am in favour of rehabilitation, but to have so many in a concentrated area cannot be a good thing.”
Boscombe West councillor Chris Wakefield said: “Boscombe is not the place for this saturation. All it is doing is creating other issues.”
Bournemouth East MP Tobias Ellwood said: “There are some very well-run rehab centres in Boscombe that we can proud of.
“But there’s no regulation.
“You can set one up in your garage. Councils need powers to close centres that aren’t working.
“The number doesn’t surprise me but at least we know now.
Landlord Dave Wells, who owns numerous properties in Boscombe, also said there were too many centres.
The council, police, MP and other parties will meet this afternoon to discuss the findings of the research.