Looking over the estate from my fifth floor balcony I’ve seen many changes. In the last five or six years, a new drugs dealing phenomenon has begun. It began quite unobtrusively. Cars came briefly onto the estate. A quick chat, handshake and that was that. Now it’s far more sophisticated. Those with money and know-how, simply ring their drug dealer and within minutes cars they’re on the estate. Their windows are down and like a “Pizza Delivery” within seconds the deal is done, and they’re gone.
Dialling 101 to report these incidents is slow. There’s a considerable delay before speaking to a police assistant. Fifteen or twenty minutes of hanging on isn’t unusual. By which time the drugs deal has been done. It’s very dispiriting and you lose all motivation. Phoning 999 leaves you trying to explain that it’s a ‘sort’ of emergency. This is because there’s a focus on drug related violence not social degradation. They’re not interested and you’ve wasted everybody’s time.
More concerning is who are the customers of the drug dealers. Young and old and adults with children: no boundaries. Tellingly those same people often want to ‘borrow’ money using spurious excuses. Needless to say, “The school of hard knocks,” soon teaches you not to subsidise addicts even if they do have children.
The rights or wrongs of addiction, are debatable. But it seems, with the reduction in police numbers and Community Police since 2010, drug dealers know they’ll have to be very unlucky to get caught. Austerity has emboldened criminals and brutalised our society. And it’s not just on my estate: it’s Gidea Park, Harold Wood and every other place in Havering. It might not be as blatant as it is on my estate but it’s everywhere.
Crime and Disorder committee 30th October 2019 minutes on 27th February 2020 https://democracy.havering.gov.uk/documents/g6201/Printed%20minutes%2027th-Feb-2020%2019.00%20Crime%20Disorder%20Sub-%20Committee.pdf?T=1 item 19