Dear Police & Crime Commissioner,
We are Councillors in Brighton & Hove, who are increasingly concerned about the drug dealing issues we face here in the city. Every week, we hear from residents about drug activity in their buildings, needles in their play parks, and drug-related anti-social behaviour in their neighbourhoods. County Lines is a major problem in the city and its activities in the city increased under lockdown. Drug-consumption and the criminal activity that surrounds it can make residents feel unsafe in their homes and public spaces, which is unacceptable. Furthermore, the utter misery and devastation drug consumption and drug dealing have on lives and communities cannot be overstated.
Residents also tell us there is a lack of clarity on what can and cannot be regarded as evidence when attempting to report drug-related criminal activity – some clarity and guidance for our residents on exactly how to report drug dealing and consumption and what details and evidence to include would be welcome. A media campaign by the Police Media team giving details of how to report drug crimes would be welcomed by the council and by residents.
Brighton & Hove City Council have been working closely with the local police force to crack down on drug dealing in the city, and we welcome the work our police have been doing. However, it is clear that despite the recent increase in the number of PCSOs and police officers in the city, our police still do not have the funds or resources to drive drugs and drug dealing out of our city. The amount of paperwork needed for each incident is also a major obstruction to more arrests as it is a major drain on police time and this issue needs resolving.
We’d like to draw your attention to an excellent piece in The Argus recently that highlighted various drug ‘hot spots’ in the city, and reported on a local Detective Sergeant outlining that:
“Unfortunately, there are just not enough police and resources to tackle that problem in its entirety.
“They (those involved in the buying and selling of drugs) know their locations in Brighton & Hove. There are very common places for dealing and taking drugs in the city.”
It is clear that even our own police officers are crying out for more resources to tackle drug issues in our area, so we ask that in your role as Police & Crime Commissioner, do all in your power to provide the funds, officers and resources we as a city need to tackle drug dealing, and lobby the government to invest in local community policing.
Thank you for your consideration and we look forward to your reply.
Labour Group, Brighton & Hove City Council