Monday, 16 September 2013

Give police the tools to deal with drugs

On Saturday the Scottish Express ran an article on crime in the Dumbiedykes.  You can see it here.  It focuses on the drugs problem and on the inability of the police to get to grips in a way which protects ordinary residents.

I know local officers have done much to give reassurance to local people and have spent much time in the area working to reduce various forms of anti social disruption - especially with young people.  But reassurance is not the priority.  The priority should be to bring to justice those responsible for illegal activity.  The priority is to deal with the crime.  That is the way to provide reassurance to local people.

There is much the police can do to improve the flow of information and intelligence from local people on which they act.  But the biggest problem - the biggest barrier to successful police action - is revealed in this quote from a policeman in the article:
Resident: "Why are you not putting this flat under surveillance?"

Police officer: "You are talking very high authority for arranging this. And you are talking much higher level of drug dealing than we are seeing here."
Resident: "So this is not big enough and we should withstand its consequences?"
Police and justice procedures limit effective action which would protect local people.  For example, when there is evidence of drug dealing the police need to be willing and able to obtain a warrant quickly and effectively.

We need a review of how and why the police and justice systems in so many ways fail to protect the ordinary law abiding person from the fall out of illegal druugs activity.

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