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Extra in Camden

The council and BID (business improvement district) in Camden in north London promise increased Met Police and security presence in Camden Town to address community concerns around safety, the illegal drug trade and anti-social behaviour.

The extra police and security will be funded from a number of sources including the Late Night Levy (made up from money from late night pubs and clubs serving alcohol), match-funding from the police and money from Camden Town Unlimited and Market Tech.

A dedicated team of police officers and security personnel will be patrolling the Camden Town area, which can be very busy with tourists and other visitors (pictured: looking north towards Camden Market, winter weekend), to provide support and reassurance to local businesses, and to tackle what’s admitted to be the growing number of drug dealers who operate in the area.

Simon Pitkeathley, CTU CEO, said: “I don’t blame the council or the police for this. They are where they are. We just can’t sit by and do nothing. The problem isn’t going away. We feel that we have to try and do something to challenge it. Hopefully their presence will deter people from buying drugs, even if the dealers aren’t deterred.”

Recently Camden Council announced an extra £540,000 to deliver ‘assertive multi–agency hotspot teams’ operating across the borough to tackle what the authorities termed ‘entrenched street activity’.

Meanwhile, last month Camden Council launched an ad campaign, aimed at those who come to Camden to buy or use drugs, asking them to consider the wider consequences, and the impact their decision has on others. The council point to how it’s moving beyond the dangers to the individual, by highlighting the significant wider impacts you are contributing towards if you buy drugs in Camden. Ads at bus stops and social media posts raise questions about the consequences that the recreational use of drugs on a night out in Camden. The drugs supply chain may include victims of modern slavery; gang violence and knife crime is fuelled by drug sales and supply; and residents have such crime on their doorsteps.

Nadia Shah, Camden’s Cabinet Member for Safer Communities, said: “Crime statistics highlight the problem, particularly in relation to wards that are home to our night time economy. We need to look at new and innovative ways to tackle this issue. One way is to reach those people considering buying or using drugs in Camden and get them to recognise that, in addition to the public health impacts and police enforcement consequences of their actions, they also need to amend their behaviour due to the impact upon our communities.

“Their drug use goes beyond risking their own health and freedom, it also fuels the likes of modern slavery, gang violence, crime rates, and fear of crime amongst our residents. These are all things that they may not see, or may not have previously considered, but all are contributed to through their actions, and we hope we can change that behaviour via this campaign.”


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