Drug activity can pose a problem for any neighbourhood. While abandoned houses and parking areas are ideal locations for drug dealers, they’re not the only places where drug deals can occur. Some people sell drugs right out of their own homes, even those in cosy suburban cul-de-sacs. It’s understandable that you would want to remove this threat from your neighbourhood, and there are things you and your community can do. You should avoid openly confronting drug dealers, and you should never take the law into your own hands. Work as a team, and remember that there’s safety in numbers.

YOUR SUSPICIONS

  1. Talk to your neighbours and other property owners in the area.

It will be easier to identify, stop, and prevent drug activity in your neighbourhood if you work together. Your neighbours may have noticed things you haven’t, and vice versa.

  1. Watch for suspicious activity.

If you suspect that there are drug dealings going on/in your street, look for warning signs. Visitors at strange hours, blocked-up windows and odd smells may be signs of drug activity.

Excessive foot traffic to and from a house and loitering may be signs that illicit activity is occurring. Sometimes it’s strangers just hanging about the streets or parks, looking anxious, up and down the street as if they are waiting for someone. Often they look poor and dishevelled.

Another suspicious pattern is the presence of many cars that stop at a house for a short period of time and then leave.

  1. Be aware of suspicious behaviour.

You can keep an eye out for people acting in certain ways. For example keep a look out for large numbers of people visiting the house in question for brief periods of time. Another possible suspicious behaviour is a person sitting in a car for extended periods of time while pedestrians approach him or her.

Also be on the lookout for people standing on corners and talking to others down the street on a two-way radio/mobile. Look out for people just hanging about, looking up and down the street, on a mobile phone, looking anxious. 

  1. Keep an eye out for drug paraphernalia.

Surprisingly, people can be careless about concealing drug paraphernalia such as hypodermic needles, even when a police presence has been established in the area. If you see signs of these materials, call the City Council on 01733 747474 or email…………

If you find evidence of drug paraphernalia, don’t collect it or look around for additional materials. Take note and photo if you can, of where you found it, what type of paraphernalia it was, what time of day you discovered it, on what date, and report those details to the Council. 

  1. Record as much detail as you can.

Always stay safe and don’t approach potential dealers, but gathering details about the activities you observe can help police take the proper action. If the drug dealer lives nearby, you can often document activities from the safety of your own home.

If you observe suspicious traffic activity, take notes of registration numbers, car models and colours, and approximate times of visits.

If you are concerned about a particular individual, write down a detailed description including height, build, hair colour, and any identifying features. Also include the circumstances that have caused your suspicion.

If you feel that the situation is dangerous, be cautious. Do not openly collect information, take photographs, or do other things that might provoke a hostile dealer.

  1. Collect the necessary information.

If you suspect that there is illegal drug activity occurring in your area, you will want to make a report to the proper authorities. First, make sure that you have written down all of the information that you will need. You want to make sure that your report will be detailed and accurate, so that it will be useful to the police.

Make sure that you are able to provide the exact address of the location where you suspect drug activity is happening.  If you know the full names of the people who live there provide that information, too.

If you see a car connected with the drug-related activity, take note of the registration number. You should also write down when the car arrives, how long it remains at the address, and how frequently it appears. You should also tell the police if you see small packages being exchanged. These could be either drugs or money. Describe those in the car if you can.

Note patterns, but also notice if those patterns change. Don’t assume that the police are aware of any changes–you can always update your report as necessary.

You will also want to point out anything else specific you know. Are there children living there? Are there dogs on the property? Is there a specific time of day where the activity most often occurs? Make notes of anything you think might be relevant.

  1. Notice physical evidence.

If you suspect illegal drug activity in your area, you will want to take note of certain signs. There are many indicators that can help you figure out if there is a possible crime occurring. Take note of specific things that you see happening near the address where you suspect there are drugs.

A porch light that is on at odd hours of the day or night is another possible indicator of drug related activity.

If a house is occupied, but the blinds are always drawn, this is another possible sign that something illegal is happening. Make a note if you see people arriving at the house/building regularly for very short periods of time. It does not take long for drug deals to be completed.

Chemical odours are a sign that drugs are actually being manufactured on the premises. You should be aware of any strange strong smells that come from the suspected residence.

WHAT CAN YOU DO

  1. Contact the police.

You can choose to remain anonymous you will feel safer that way. Provide the police with as much detail as possible about the situation you’ve observed: where you believe drug dealers are operating, what they look like, when their customers come by, how many cars you’ve seen, etc.

Call from a safe place. Never assume someone else has made the call. Don’t place a call where potential dealers can hear or see you.  Always contact the police and allow them to handle drug activities. Attempting to stop these crimes yourself may cause you or others harm. It may also cause difficulties in prosecuting criminal cases related to the activity later.

  1. Contact local resources.

Your first step should be to contact the police. If you feel unsafe, or feel that something dangerous is presently happening, call the police on 999.  If you do not see immediate danger, you can call 101 for the police. If you are a Cambridgeshire Watch Coordinator you can use the special code word you have been supplied with when calling 101. This is not an emergency call.

Ask the person handling your call who you can speak to about reporting drug-related activity. It is possible an operator may take your report and pass it along to the appropriate team. You can also report your concerns on line at

https://www.cambs.police.uk/information-and-services/Contact/Contact

Supply as much information as you can. You can send any photographs linked to your report on this e mail     CCIE01@cambs.pnn.police.uk

To report seeing drug paraphanlia call 01733 747474, to report suspicious drug dealing activity phone 101.

You can report suspicious activity by phoning Crime stoppers on 0800 55 5 11 11

You don’t have to leave your name and address. 

  1. Start a Neighbourhood Watch.

Neighbourhood Watches are often very successful in eliminating drug dealers from your neighbourhood. They can help reduce criminal activity by creating an environment without opportunities for things like drug dealing. However, it’s important to work with the police so that Watch members are properly guided and informed.

Erect signs and publicise the presence of your Neighbourhood Watch. Knowing that the area is under observation will often persuade dealers to move out of your road to an area that is less patrolled.

Never attempt to apprehend a drug dealer yourself. 

  1. Form a “Cluster Groupof Watches.

(Sometimes called an Area or Network’)

Having your whole community work together will be much more efficient than if you try to take action alone. Watch Cluster Groups have historically had a significant impact on getting rid of neighbourhood drug dealers.

Get together with neighbours and arrange for “positive loitering,” where members of the Watch do things like sweep the streets, pick up litter, group dog walking and do other activities near where drugs are sold. The constant presence of people may dissuade drug dealers that operate in public places.

Go to Watch/community meetings together. Neighbourhood watch is a partnership with the police, i.e.; helping each out. Training could be arranged, you can learn more about how to keep your neighbourhood safe.

 

  1. Ask about local improvements.

Areas such as empty spaces, parks, isolated footpaths are prime territory for drug dealing. Contact your local councillors to see if some areas can be turned into parks or playgrounds, to show that someone owns these places. Your community may even be able to pitch in to beautify an area. Eliminating potential dealing spots will help drive dealers out of your neighbourhood.

 

  1. Contact the property owner.

If the property where you believe drug dealing is occurring is a rented, contacting the person in charge of the property may help them take action.

If you don’t know who is in charge of the property, your council can usually provide you with information about the owner, landlord, or property manager.

14       Promote community spirit.

Drug dealers may look for locations where neighbours don’t talk to each other, don’t call the police or the authorities, and where people tend to be isolated, footpaths, entrances with restricted natural surveillance. Communities that don’t care often leave litter about, fail to repair a broken window quickly or make no attempt to clear graffiti. Also hedges and trees left to over grow could indicate lack of community interest in an area. This allows drug dealers to more easily intimidate people who notice them. A strong, active, positive community is one of the best deterrents for drug dealers.

Hosting activities such as Fun in the Park, picnics, barbecues, sports and other events will help you get to know your neighbours and strengthen your community.

  15     Organize drug education scheme in your Ward or Parish.

Schools, churches, and the police may have resources that can help you establish drug prevention fair to educate people on the dangers of drug use and how to prevent drug activity in your area.

16        Talk to your neighbours.

If you have a neighbourhood watch, you should voice your concerns to the organizers of that group. If you don’t have a formal neighbourhood watch, you can ask neighbours what they know and if they have noticed anything strange. Make sure not to make unfounded accusations.

You do not have to use specifics when asking your neighbours if they have noticed any signs of drug related activity. You can ask vague questions and still receive some information.

17        Social Media

Be very careful about what goes on social media. Don’t put photographs of suspected dealers or their customers or their activity on line. You’ll never know who else is looking at it and whether they are friends with those in the photos. Another reason not to do this is data protection, there’s a risk such publication could harm and risk problems should it go to court. You can use closed networks such as Whats App – messenger or others.

 

IF YOU SEE SOMETHING SAY SOMETHING

Reporting on line is easy –   https://www.cambs.police.uk/report/Report-Shared/Report-a-concern

If you have any information regarding any of the above then please let us know via 101 or by the police website at www.contactcambspolice.uk/Report/.  Alternatively, you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or www.crimestoppers-uk.org

Don’t forget to ask for an incident number!!  Don’t forget to tell the police you are from neighbourhood watch!!

You can send any photos taken discreetly on the email.