Residents encouraged to unite against drug dealing menace

Residents encouraged to unite against drug dealing menace

Fulzar Ahmed, right, with others concerned about drug dealing in Lawkholme

Fulzar Ahmed, right, with others concerned about drug dealing in Lawkholme

Fulzar Ahmed, right, with others concerned about drug dealing in Lawkholme

First published in News by

RESIDENTS have been urged to take action to rid their neighbourhood of the scourge of drug dealing.

A Keighley community activist wants people living in the town's Lawkholme area to report these criminals to police.

Fulzar Ahmed, 32, warned that some parents were moving out of Lawkholme because they did not want their children's lives to be blighted by drugs.

He said: "I was born and brought up in Lawkholme, and I'm still in touch with many people who live there.

"They say they can see drug dealing happening in front of their own eyes, and feel they can't do anything to stop it.

"The older generation are seeing their children being influenced by those involved in drug dealing.

"I know of a large number of Bangladeshi people who are moving away to places like Riddlesden and Highfield, and the drug activity is one of the reasons why they're leaving.

"Unless the community gets together and says 'we're not going to tolerate this anymore', then it'll continue.

"There are police patrols, but these guys [the drug dealers] know how to avoid them. The police can only do so much, I appreciate that."

Mr Ahmed, who is now based in Highfield but lived in Lawkholme until 1995, said the youngest people involved in drug dealing in Lawkholme were aged about 14 to 15. He said residents needed to give more information to police and called for CCTV to be installed at the worst drug-dealing hotspots.

His comments follow a story in the Telegraph & Argus last month about drug takers' needles being found inside abandoned cars in a Lawkholme car park.

The needles were found by teenagers in three vehicles close to a children's centre.

Responding to Mr Ahmed, Keighley MP Kris Hopkins said: "I've got to applaud him for standing up and saying this. It can't be easy.

"I've been trying to get local community leaders to address this issue and I've offered to stand alongside them. But all too often they are afraid to put their heads above the parapet.

"It's important for the council and for these community leaders to get behind this young man and support what he's trying to do."

Keighley Central Ward councillor Abid Hussain said he and his councillor colleagues had also been calling for CCTV for months, and that this measure has now been approved by Bradford Council.

Coun Hussain said the necessary funds had been allocated, and that CCTV was due to be installed in Parson Street, Lawkholme.

"We're working with the community, and the police are doing an excellent job," he said. "But this does take time, there won't be results overnight."

Sergeant Diane Collins, of the Keighley Area Neighbourhood Team, said: "We would ask for people to report any concerns or suspicions regarding drug dealing or drug usage to the police by calling 101, or anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 555111."

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