Seven Dials

Plenary on 2017-07-06
Session date: 
July 6, 2017
Question By: 
Andrew Dismore
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


Is it correct that at the relevant ward panel meeting the police offered a choice of either the police arresting drug dealers and users (which would take officers off the streets for too long a time) or dispersal meaning the police strategy is actually one of displacement of the offenders? Is this the Met's approved policy approach to this issue?


Answer for Seven Dials

Answer for Seven Dials

Answered By: 
The Mayor

The MPS are very clear that where drug dealing takes place, they will use enforcement whenever possible. There are also additional ways of problem solving by designing out crime, using lighting, surveillance and other methods, which may have been interpreted as dispersal but in fact are recognised methods of preventing crime as part of a toolset along with enforcement.


The MPS follows Home Office policy towards the policing of drugs. The approach, in line with that policy, is to address the harms of drug misuse by diverting users into treatment (post arrest) to break their cycle of offending. Also, there is ongoing work to restrict the supply of drugs by identifying and prosecuting those involved in the importation and supply of drugs, confiscating their proceeds of crime.


The MPS are introducing a new Drug Strategy (to be published this summer) which will clearly set out the policing approach to this issue.


In this particular example, the local ward Sergeant, through engagement with the local community, utilised his small team to engage in the tactic of high visibility police presence, where residents/businesses could see police and to prevent drug related ASB in his area. This is just one tactic available to police.