This drop-in centre for drug users is situated in a large city. It is run by a charity and employs seven staff and twelve volunteers. The centre provides drug users, their friends and families with help and advice on drug-related problems, and also provides professional counselling.
- Assault and verbal abuse from clients.
- Disorder and abuse from members of the public trying to get into the centre.
Reducing the risk
Training and information
- Staff adopt a non-confrontational and non-judgemental approach to clients.
- Staff are trained to avoid being patronising, to help create an equal balance of power between staff and clients.
- Light yellow paint used to brighten up the premises. An informal entry area makes the centre more welcoming.
- The reception desk provides a central control point from which all client accessible areas can be supervised.
- Counselling rooms are designed to be private, but are within hearing range of the reception area.
- Staff offices are located out of sight of clients, and the open plan layout allows staff to see each other.
- Continuous staffing of the reception area.
- Help is always available to staff in private counselling rooms if needed.
- Intruder detection systems are in use when the building is closed, to protect client records. These are linked to a call centre.
- The centre has close links with the police, but police officers are discouraged from entering the centre except in an emergency.