DRUGS SHAME ON CITY’S STREETS

MUM TELLS OF MIS­ERY OF LIV­ING NEXT TO DRUG-DEAL­ING HOTSPOT IN HEART OF THE WELSH CAP­I­TAL

South Wales Echo - - FRONT PAGE - JAMES MCCARTHY Re­porter james.mccarthy@waleson­line.co.uk

A TER­RI­FIED mum has re­vealed the drug prob­lem by her home is so bla­tant her eight-year-old girl “could tell you how to in­ject heroin”.

The woman, who asked not to be named, said drug deal­ers were mak­ing “thou­sands” of trans­ac­tions every day near her home in the Bute­town area of Cardiff.

“Where I live it is 24 hours a day, I kid you not,” she said.

“It’s morn­ing, noon and night. They do not care.

“There are young­sters sell­ing crack by the side of my house which has been re­ported by res­i­dents to the po­lice count­less times.”

There had been “an in­flux of ad­dicts” to the road, she claimed, adding her kids had “seen so much blood”.

“My daugh­ter is eight years old and could tell you and show you how to in­ject heroin,” the con­cerned mother said. “It’s re­ally bad.” She has at­tended nu­mer­ous Po­lice and Com­mu­nity To­gether (Pact) meet­ings, which are held every six weeks.

But she said that de­spite of­fi­cers re­port­ing nu­mer­ous ar­rests, not enough was be­ing done – and that drug users were be­ing tar­geted in­stead of deal­ers.

She said: “Yes­ter­day when I came home there were seven deal­ers and there were three or four ad­dicts.”

She did not want her chil­dren grow­ing up in such an en­vi­ron­ment. “We do not feel safe,” she said. “We can­not go out now it is win­ter. We can’t come back when it’s dark be­cause we do not know who is lurk­ing.

“I was tex­ting in my car on Sun­day and I looked up. It was 3pm. There was a drug user there look­ing like he was go­ing to drop. His friend had gone to a dealer.

“I got out of my car and said, ‘You need to move.’

“He said, ‘Sorry love’ with a thick Val­leys ac­cent.”

She is des­per­ate to move be­cause her chil­dren are scared.

“We don’t sleep be­cause of the noise. We can hear them shout­ing at each other.”

The mum has taught her chil­dren about the dan­gers of drug use.

“But there are chil­dren in the com­mu­nity, they see this every day and it be­comes nor­mal,” she said.

“It’s go­ing to cre­ate a big prob­lem. But I tell my kids, ‘Look what hap­pens when you take drugs.’”

She says pho­to­graphs taken in the area show the scale of the prob­lem – in­clud­ing dozens of used sy­ringes lit­ter­ing the pave­ment, and even men smok­ing crack in plain sight in the day.

Bute­town coun­cil­lor Saeed Ebrahim agreed there was a se­ri­ous prob­lem, and feared teenagers were co­erced into deal­ing.

“When you have 17 and 18-year-olds sell­ing drugs there is some sort of a push com­ing from some­where,” he said.

“There needs to be a bet­ter way of polic­ing and more of it.

“It’s crim­i­nal be­hav­iour and it needs to be chal­lenged.”

In­spec­tor Ian Ran­dell, of South Wales Po­lice, said the force was “aware of the con­cerns” and was “lis­ten­ing to peo­ple and tak­ing ac­tion”.

“Thanks to lo­cal sup­port we have been able to ex­e­cute a num­ber of suc­cess­ful war­rants in re­cent months which have re­sulted in ar­rests, drug, cash and weapon seizures,” he said.

“In July, we ran two three-day op­er­a­tions, dur­ing which 24 peo­ple were stopped and searched, seven were ar­rested and drugs were seized.

“To­gether with the lo­cal author­ity, we are also look­ing at ways to de­sign out crime through the use of CCTV, and also en­sure those who use their ac­com­mo­da­tion to deal or use drugs, or let oth­ers do so, face evic­tion.

“Just last week, a woman was evicted from her flat af­ter she was charged with drug of­fences.”

He urged peo­ple to re­port drug of­fences to them.

“The pub­lic are our eyes and ears and with their help we can con­tinue to crack down on the crim­i­nals who try to in­fil­trate this proud com­mu­nity,” he said.

Po­lice can be reached on 101 or 999 if it is an emer­gency.

A mother took these pho­to­graphs of drug nee­dles near her home

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