London drugs gangs exploit poor street lighting in Cambridge
PUBLISHED: 10:21 08 February 2019 | UPDATED: 14:16 08 February 2019
London drugs gangs are targeting some of the most vulnerable people in the city under cover of “massive pools of darkness” where there is poor street lighting.
County lines drugs gangs - who supply drugs using dedicated phone lines to coordinate multiple dealers based out of London - are exploiting parts of Cambridge where “some of the most vulnerable people in the county” live.
Speaking at Cambridgeshire County Council’s full meeting on Tuesday (February 5), Cllr Noel Kavanagh (Labour) said the council should invest more in street lighting to prevent such activity.
Cllr Kavanagh said lighting needs to be improved “not just in the city, but all across the county”.
Cllr Kavanagh said: “Even in the city there are massive pools of darkness because the street lighting is not there.
“We know drug dealing in the city is a problem. You have all heard of county lines. It is really serious. The police are greatly under-resourced. We have got a couple of the most deprived areas in the county in Cambridge, and those places are targeted by gangs.”
Cllr Kavanagh said London drug dealers would often target the same places on multiple occasions, and would deliberately choose places that were poorly lit where there would be less chance of them being seen or caught.
Police in Cambridge have previously spoken about the dangers of county lines drug dealing in Cambridge, and have urged residents to report everything they see that could be helpful for police.
Last month, Sgt Jim Stevenson of Cambridgeshire Police told a Cambridge east area committee that, while the public sometimes gets frustrated with recurring drugs problems in the city, they must keep reporting them so the police had enough information to tackle the problem.
He said fighting against drug dealers without information from the public is like “flying a plane without windows”.
A Labour budget amendment which would have seen additional funds invested in street lighting in the county was defeated at the vote, but councillors agreed to take the suggestion forward and to discuss it further at committee.