Baildon resident calls on new crime commissioner to take action on drug addicts (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Baildon resident calls on new crime commissioner to take action on drug addicts
An urgent plea to tackle drug dealers in a Baildon street is one of the first letters to land on the desk of West Yorkshire’s new Police and Crime Commissioner.
Businessman Rob Higgie has campaigned for eight years against the growing problem of addicts using steps near his home in to meet car drivers delivering their daily fix.
Police efforts have so far failed to stop the 24-hour criminal trade.
Immediately Mark Burns-Williamson was elected as PCC, Mr Higgie sent him a demand for action. The same day, the new police czar told the Telegraph & Argus he was committed to tackling such types of anti-social behaviour.
Mr Higgie, 52, said: “Since we moved here in 2004 and I first saw drug-dealing taking place in broad daylight I have been asking the police to stamp it out.
“It’s just like a take-away delivery service morning, noon and night. A car or sometimes a private hire cab pulls up and toots its horn and the buyer wanders down from the social housing estate on the other side of the road, down the steps and does the deal in the street.
“I’ve watched wraps of drugs swapped for cash on dozens of occasions.
“This is a nice street and that shouldn’t be going on here, it is dragging everything down.
“But when I’ve spoken to the police it seems either they haven’t got enough officers, or it’s not considered bad enough to be a priority.”
Mr Higgie said some three weeks ago officers did carry out raids on some of the estate homes, leading to arrests and drug seizures.
“But that hasn’t stopped the daily trade, although the dealers have been a little more careful,” he said.
Mr Higgie, a senior retail account manager, said he has had to cope with the shocking consequences of abuse on his doorstep.
“Several times I’ve had to call ambulances for people collapsed, flat out in the street – totally incapable in daylight hours.”
He said approaches to Incommunities, which runs the estate, had been met with bland platitudes.
“Instead of doing anything like evicting drug addicts, they just go on about ‘multi-agency approaches’ and say they won’t take action against people who only have the stuff for personal use.”
A Police Authority spokesman said the new commissioner was not in post until tomorrow and would deal with all correspondence as quickly as possible.
Sergeant James Firth said: “We take these concerns extremely seriously and we are working hard to tackle these issues raised by local residents.
“Likewise, in relation to reports of drug dealing, we are proactively targeting those involved.
“Recently in nearby Southfield Way, two men aged 31 and 22 were arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply class A drugs.
“About 30 wraps and cash were seized.
“I would urge anyone who sees drugs-related activity taking place in their neighbourhood to report it immediately.
“You can do this anonymously on 0800 555111 via Crimestoppers. If you tell us about it, we will act.”
An Incommunities spokesman said it treated any report of drug dealing very seriously and was committed to taking legal action where appropriate.
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