Camden News
Publications by New Journal Enterprises
  Home Archive Competition Jobs Tickets Accommodation Dating Contact us
Camden News - by PAUL KIELTHY
Published: 5 February 2009
Police call for dispersal zone

Move comes amid fears of increased drug dealing around school

CHILDREN are being used as runners in a drugs market that has taken over streets surrounding a Tube station and spread prostitution and crime around a school and housing estate, police will claim tonight (Thursday).
The council is expected to grant additional powers to officers around Tufnell Park Tube station and Acland Burghley School in response to police reports that cocaine and cannabis dealers are generating crime in the area between Junction Road and Highgate Road, in Kentish Town.
Police have requested a dispersal zone for the area, in which they will be able to remove under-16s found on the streets after 9pm, for six months from February 23.
The police report said: “Over the last few months the area has seen an increased presence of mainly Islington-based youths selling both class A and class B drugs, and intelligence suggests that they may be runners for adult gangs.
“The dealing has reportedly spilled into Ingestre Road estate, where there have been reports of prostitution, drug use, robbery and associated anti-social behaviour. The youths often prey on vulnerable students from Acland Burghley.”
The junction of Fortess Road, Dartmouth Park Hill, Burghley Road and Brecknock Road has been a recognised troublespot for several years.
Drug dealing has increased tensions between groups of teenagers, thought to include an Islington gang called the Krucial Goonz.
But the powers have been criticised in the past for their potentially discriminatory use against young people.
Acland Burghley headteacher Michael Shew said on Tuesday that he had agreed to the inclusion of the school in the dispersal zone because police had told him that problems would increase on his doorstep if he did not. He said: “On balance I felt it was the right thing to do, but I have been assured that, because the 1,300 students attending the school have a right to be there, the dispersal zone will be sensitively treated.”
The zone will cover parts of Kentish Town and Highgate wards in Camden as well as two wards in Islington, creating a need for co-operation between police teams working under two borough commands.
Kentish Town safer neighbourhood sergeant Peter Ryan said Tufnell Park had become an overflow area for drug markets elsewhere in London.
“That area is easily accessible by bus routes from King’s Cross and Notting Hill, and the station is one of the closest to the West End that doesn’t have a large police presence. There are some teenage wannabe drug dealers, as well as some much older offenders associated with drugs, and we will disperse the people who we know.”
The council has the power to grant dispersal zones, with four currently active in Camden.

Comment on this article.
(You must supply your full name and email address for your comment to be published)







Theatre Music
Arts & Events Attractions