Councillors urge police and crime commissioner to tackle drugs on the estates

Posted On 05 Jul 2021 at 3:36 pm

Councillors have urged Sussex police and crime commissioner Katy Bourne to tackle drug dealing on the housing estates in Brighton and Hove.

Police and crime commissioner Katy Bourne, left, with Councillor Dawn Barnett and Councillor Nick Lewry

Conservative councillors Dawn Barnett and Nick Lewry said that they were aware of cases of “cuckooing” – where dealers take over the home of a vulnerable person.

And, they said, a number of violent crimes reported recently had been related to drug dealing.

They praised the police focus on county lines – with drug dealers from big cities targeting places like Brighton and Hove.

But they were concerned that drug dealing and drug taking on the outlying estates in Brighton and Hove were sometimes going on under the radar.

The pair, who represent Hangleton and Knoll on Brighton and Hove City Council, praised the way that Sussex Police had targeted town centre trouble.

But they were worried that wards like theirs could be overlooked and also set out concerns about anti-social behaviour in local parks.

They called for more patrols by police community support officers (PCSOs), especially during the evenings.

The police and crime commissioner said: “Last year, despite the restrictions from the pandemic, I consulted with councillors and parishes across the county.

“And this year, we are increasing that engagement by 300 per cent, with parish council focus groups and using online surveys targeting more urban areas.

“This continuous listening programme is a mainstay of my role so I can hear residents’ concerns first-hand and ensure they are considered by the chief constable.

“I was really pleased to be able to meet Dawn and Nick who wanted to ensure that incidents of anti-social behaviour and drug dealing in their wards were not being overlooked in favour of policing more populated areas.

“The deployment of officers will always be a decision for local police commanders and will be based on a combination of intelligence, community feedback and reassurance.

“I will ask senior officers for their assessment of anti-social behaviour and drugs issues in Hangleton and Knoll and how they are communicating police activity to community representatives.”

  1. Jonathan Simons Reply

    After months of nonsense trying to make the council responsible for what are clearly policing matters – and which have been neglected by Katy Bourne – it’s good to see these councillors finally understanding that policing is indeed a police matter.

  2. Trevor Reply

    Maybe you don’t live in Hangleton, Mr Simons, but if you did, you’d know these are two very hard-working Ward Councillors. They’re right to bring up their concerns about drugs and bad behaviour with the Council and the Commissioner. The Council has a Community Safety Team, so this sort of problem is part of their remit as Councillors too. I don’t know much about Katy Bourne, but she does seem willing to reach out to people, and listen to them. I have no axe to grind, and no Party affiliation. What about you, Mr Simons?

    • Jonathan Simons Reply

      I do live locally and have no party affiliation, I’ve just been tired of these councillors trying to make political point scoring on things which are their party’s responsibility. The council does indeed have a community safety team but they do not have the legal powers of the police who have ignored the issue as even these councillors seem to admit now.

  3. Jon Reply

    Katy Bourne’s online surveys are not a genuine attempt to gauge public opinion they’re a cynical exercise to somehow validate her decisions. There are questions like
    Would you be prepared to pay more to reduce crime ? Yes/No
    Using this method she claims that the public urged her to increase the Police precept by 7.5%

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