*Guns/Crack: The Commander - your opinion please?

Discussion in 'Brixton' started by hatboy, Jan 24, 2002.

  1. hatboy

    hatboy Banned Banned

    Guns/Crack: The Commander - your opinion please?

    Hi Brian - Can you tell me what Lambeth Police are doing about the destruction being wrought on the local community, especially in Brixton, by the use and dealing of crack and by gun-culture? I'd like to hear what you envisage for the future for the safety of the citizens of Brixton?

    (PS PLEASE can other posters resist the temptatation to post on this thread until Mr Paddick has responded and a debate can then ensue).
  2. hatboy

    hatboy Banned Banned

    Bump - thanks for NOT posting on here yet people. Where's The Commander got too? Briiiaaan!
  3. Brian

    Brian Local friendly ex-cop

    Sorry for the delay - have had some serious personal issues to deal with.

    What to do about crack and smack, especially in Brixton? My take - "don't damage my community". Translates into top priority = don't openly deal on the streets - it frightens people and raises their fear of crime - street deal and I'm after you. That means arrest, charge, court, long prison sentence (I hope).

    Chaotic drug users - those so addicted to crack or smack that they cannot hold down a job, don't have enough money to feed the habit without robbing, breaking into people's homes or cars = damaging my community. These people are victims though. Victims of 'the system' that got them into the state they are in - victims of the drug dealers who encouraged them into taking the stuff maybe. We need more money for treatment, outreach work, support, so these people can come off the stuff and start living again. OK, if they rob and steal they'll get arested too, but hopefully they will get help too (we have drug workers at the police station, for example).

    Not much time now, but I wil develop my ideas as we go along. Bottom line - screw the dealers, help the addicts.

    Light blue touch-paper and retire!
  4. mach v

    mach v la-di-dah liberal wuss

    Sounds like a good plan, how do you see it coming into action? How can Brixtonites (like us) help?
  5. pk

    pk drink flounce rinse repeat

    Yes, I want to screw some dealers please!!
  6. sonicdancer

    sonicdancer Jet Set Nomad Banned

    Commander maybe a zero tolerance attitude as adopted in New York by Geuliano may do the trick but this would need to be adopted elsewhere also otherwise the problems just get pushed somewhere else (as mentioned in previous threads) Cleaning up the dealers from the (numerous) favoured little drug dealing spots on the streets of Brixton WOULD alleviate residents concerns/fears but it would also eradicate the street life inherant.

    I personally think that operation trident is failing, whatever you are doing it is not working, the guns situation is getting worse not better, a couple of deals up from the pavement outside Brixton Train Station people are getting shot, every week and as we can see in Tulse Hill recently innocent people are the victims...

    The police need to work more closely with Government secret organistions who are experts in surveillance/covert operations so that the people who bring the drugs into Brixton 3/4 deals up from the street are apprehended, there aint gonna be many street dealers intimidating innocent people if you are cutting off the supply higher up.


    more money/police/ideas please

  7. moon

    moon Happy Happy Jo Wonderland

    'The Commander', Panda etc, maybe you could start with the drug dealers on Atlantic Rd, they always congregate outside a certain mens clothes shop and sell to some of Brixtons most high profile drug victims.

    If this is truly Brian P with whom we are communicating (although I very much doubt it) then maybe he can explain why the police have failed to do anything about this particular (Atlantic Rd) drug haven for years. Surely just driving past a few times would do the trick, or do you consider it a police no-go area?

    And also could you explain what you mean about this 'don't openly deal on the streets' does this mean that you are happy for dealing to continue in crack houses, because it's less intimidating to the general public.

    I am also a bit concerned about this statment 'but I will develop my ideas as we go along' does that mean you have no idea at the moment???

    Sounds like you're a fake to me!!!
  8. TinyCrendon

    TinyCrendon New Member

    I agree w/Jo, not convinced by commander.
  9. Streathamite

    Streathamite ideological dogmatist

    Get with the programme happyhappy etc. It is Brian Paddick-I received e-mail confirmation this morning. The Editor has also checked out the Bona fides.
    And for god's sake lets stick with the bloke-he's the best news we've had in ages,and his nascent dialogue with U75 is a verypromising augury for the future
    farmerbarleymow likes this.
  10. moon

    moon Happy Happy Jo Wonderland

    Only time will tell, I guess.
    farmerbarleymow likes this.
  11. William of Walworth

    William of Walworth Festographer

    While I'm about 90% convinced now that it is him, because of various previously sceptical U75 peeps being won over by direct email contact from him, I have to say that I can't remember Mike putting anything up to confirm it :confused:
  12. drfranni

    drfranni Coldharbour Crone

    I hope that your personal "issues" are in the process of improving Mr C.
    Plumdaff likes this.
  13. hatboy

    hatboy Banned Banned

    We need to get over whether this is definitely Mr Paddick or not. I beleive it is. I know people who've met you and speak well of you Brian, and, as I seldom do anything especially illegal and don't care if you know my identity I'm wondering whether you'd consent to me popping by the cop-shop and saying a brief (I know your busy) hello.

    Aside from that, just wanted to say that I disagree with the Guilliani zero-tolerance approach because in the process of making an area safer it also oppresses street- and alternative culture. Since Brixton is the best Britain can do for a "downtown" New York type of lively street-
    scene, it would be more than a shame to kill it off. And may not even be possible anyway.

    Another thing: I think it's great that you say you don't have set ideas on how to tackle the crime problems in Brixton. That shows you are flexible. Often the most enlightened people are the one's who can say "I don't know". But of course you'll need to evolve an effective strategy.

    Interested to hear more. And pleased that you not demonising anybody. There's always a bigger picture isn't there?
  14. Derek

    Derek Guest

    Using undercover cops would be a good idea as the dealers just move when uniformed patrols come along. There has been a great success in driving away dealers in the West End around Soho where a couple of years ago there was very open dealing in the streets. But the problem seems as bad as ever in south London. In the West End large billboards were used similar to those yellow witness appeal boards with anouncements about drug dealer arrests with slogans such drug dealer recently arrested and sentenced to three years imprisonment to scare away dealers.
  15. sonicdancer

    sonicdancer Jet Set Nomad Banned

    HB I have weighed up the zero-tolerance approach on one hand and the loss of street culture on the other, and dont really think you can have your cake and eat it...The only way that a stop is going to be put to muggings/burglaries/shootings/assaults/close friends and family dying (bad side effects of drugs) and keep the hustle and bustle of street life (which I like no; love..) then the way to go is relax cannabis so that street activity exists (this is happening) and at the same time target the bigger Brixton dealers shifting kilos of cocaine down the food chain. Operation Trident SHOULD be doing this. I dont know any skunk smokers carrying pieces or hasseling people at Brixton tube...I mentioned it would kill the street culture inherant and was just really thinking aloud, but am troubled on alternative solutions.
  16. Brian

    Brian Local friendly ex-cop

    Wow! If anyone wants personal confirmation call the station and ask for an appointment. Say you are from Urban 75 and I will make sure one of you gets to see me (8649 2002). The real debate should happen here though, not one-to-one in my office.

    Zero tolerance - sounds like 'police state' to me. In NY they had thousands of extra police, massive investment in improving the environment, special drugs courts - investment across the board not just hard policing. Lambeth - I don't have the cops and the Local Authority don't have the cash to improve things that much - the spirit is willing on their side but ...

    So why don't we just sweep away the dealers? We have mounted every kind of police operation in Coldharbour Lane. We have had under-cover cops, uniform cops working off what the CCTV shows, everything. We have arrested about 50 street dealers in the past 12 months and within hours of arresting one, another takes their place. As long as there is the demand, as long as there are poor, desparate and gullible people willing to put their necks on the line for the bigger dealers further up the food chain, there will be street dealers.

    Number one priority is the street dealers because they peddle death AND frighten the public. The bigger dealers are much harder to find and arrest and they have bigger dealers and so on until you get to the importers. All law enforcement agencies need to do their bit to stop this. My job with my people is to tackle the street dealers and (if we're lucky) the next ones up. After that its out of our league (but we can pass on the info.) The street delaers are like weeds - you cut them down and they keep growing back. You need to deprive them of their 'sunshine'. So we need to look at taking out the punters and getting them into treatment.

    Anyone who deals to chaotic drug addicts are in my firing line. It's a contentious area but these are my priority targets. OK, I have said in the past that club dealers who supply 'recreational users' who do not resort to crime to by the stuff are at the bottom of my priority list but how many people do we know who started with a weekend habit and ended-up with a terminal habit?

    We are working now with the Secret Services on this (I think) but this is beyond my remit. We also need to fight poverty and do more education in places like Jamaica where poor people are duped into carrying cocaine condoms in their stomachs. You won't get any of these millionaire vermin drug barons swallowing this stuff. Maybe a squirt of weed-killer on the right poppies would help?

    These people are not easily frightened. A couple of police drive-pasts does not do it for them. We do patrol the centre and I have some of the bravest, fearless, unarmed cops who care enough to tackle gun-carrying drug dealers, who get attacked by the dealers and their cronies when they do, and still go back for more. These are boys and girls in uniform who put their lives on the line for us and they get deal grief for it.

    We need to decide those issues where the peeps and the police have no argument - lets get the drug dealers, for example. We need to stand together in Coldharbour Lane, night after night, and put these people out of business. It's been done before to get rid of prostitutes but these are heavier. If the community and the police stand together we will win. It is when we fight each other that the bad guys win. Sure there are going to be things where you are going to disagree with the police. Lets decide what we can work together on.

    I have asked the police union reps. (Police Federation) to come up with a list of things the cops think should not be tolerated in Lambeth and those things that we should be more relaxed about (we cannot enforce every single law all of the time). I have put cannabis (small amounts for personal use) in the second column. What would you put in each column? I have told the unions I will ask you what your big beefs are and then compare the two lists to see where we can agree on priorities.

    I care passionately about people. I love Lambeth, Brixton in particular. I want people to have as much freedom as possible provided they don't damage my community. These drug dealers are ruining it for us. What can we do together?

  17. hatboy

    hatboy Banned Banned

    Impressive. I'll get back to you, as I'm sure others will, with a list of "I'm OK withs" and "I'm not OK withs". Shit - what a responsibility. :)
  18. William of Walworth

    William of Walworth Festographer

    Excellent post, Commander. Lingering doubts on who you are finally extinguished .. I'll be interested to read others' responses, particularly from those who live locally.

    [ 29 January 2002: Message edited by: William of Walworth ]
  19. drfranni

    drfranni Coldharbour Crone

    As HB says - "Shit- what a responsibility"

    Personally and professionally I struggle with the tensions between the need for my profession (medicine) to provide an excellent service with limited resources and to be accountable - whilst at the same time recruiting and retaining staff who are increasingly demoralised. In addition, you are surrounded by statutary duties and reulations.

    There is no easy way around this - the police need to be accountable for their actions and I have some understanding of how difficult it must be to motivate officers who are faced with personal danger and vitriolic criticism in the same day.

    I have been the direct "victim" (hate that word) of crime 5 times in the past year and it struck me very forcibly that the thing which impressed me most was the attitude of the officers involved. I knew that there was not a snowball's chance in a nuclear reactor that they would "solve the crime" and I did not want them to waste their time trying. But a rapid, pleasant, helpful response was an enormous comfort to me. The most upsetting interaction was a black officer telling my son (who had just been mugged for the third time) that there was nothing the police could do because "Local school are 90% black kids and they are the ones doing the mugging" My son was upset because 1) He has been raised right 2) He has been a victim of Equal Opportunity mugging and had previously seen no relationship between race and his attacks.

    I'm not impressed by people who say "I don't want the police to be "nice" I want them to catch criminals" Every person who has been assaulted, insulted, abused or ignored by a police officer becomes alienated and this attitude may remain lifelong with serious implications.

    If I had to chose my priorities in Lambeth I would say "Make the streets safe(r)" In order to do that, our whole community must be recruited - the "zero tolerance" must come from everyone, without that the police have no chance at all. I think astonishing progress has been made by the police towards the "hearts and minds" of our community but much needs to be done and it must be a continuing process. If Lambeth people saw police as our champions and protectors - if police cars were cheered and police officers supported in everyday interactions - much crime would vanish. It doesn't happen because (amongst other things)people are mistrustful, have memories and don't believe in the potential gains. There are VERY good reasons why people feel this way but progress towards a safer community will be very slow unless these issues are solved.

    In the meantime - good luck Mr C!

    [ 29 January 2002: Message edited by: drfranni ]
  20. mach v

    mach v la-di-dah liberal wuss

    Ah, but I doubt that you are double "Happy" or from Wonderland on Button Moon, I have yet to see any evidence that you are called Jo either! In fact none of you really exist, you're all rampant AI programs let loose on the web: you're wintermute!

  21. TinyCrendon

    TinyCrendon New Member

  22. han

    han brixton hill hobbit

    Adam P:
    Quite. It's the ILLEGALITY of drugs that causes all the problems. I think all drugs should be decriminalised (not LEGALISED, which is slightly different). People will always take them. But if crack/smack are taken out of the hands of criminals, and addicts are dealt with by pharmacists/doctors etc. like they are in Holland, they will have far less chance of fucking up their own and other peoples' lives. It's the ILLEGALITY of drugs such as as crack and smack that have this enormous, far-reaching ripple effect of creating crime such as theft, robbery, knife/crime etc.
    I'm not suggesting that we should be able to buy 'good quality' smack/crack in Tesco's alongside tobacco/drink, but we should take the whole situation away from the underground and disempower the evil bastards who peddle this stuff.
  23. Derek

    Derek Guest

    I think that only cannabis can realistically be legalised as it is relatively harmless. Most cannabis users don't resort to crime to feed their habit and cannabis is not a dangerous drug. You can't legalise crack or heroin though that is insane. The drug problem is bad enough as it is with those drugs already and the problem is not just caused by the dealers and traffickers, these are deadly highly addictive drugs that cause their users to commit vast amounts of crime in order to feed their habits! Legalising these drugs would allow the drug situation to spiral out of control completely. Organised crime would not simply leave the drugs trade if it was legalised either they have billions in profits at stake.
  24. moon

    moon Happy Happy Jo Wonderland

    Thanks for that Commander, it seems that you do have a clear agenda on this issue and your heart is also in the right place. I look forward to hearing how some of your ideas develop and are translated into positive action on the streets.

    Jo :)
  25. TinyCrendon

    TinyCrendon New Member

  26. William of Walworth

    William of Walworth Festographer

    I am inclined to agree with steelgate here, to an extent anyway :confused:

    I take Adam's point about what we're up against internationally. But as I and one or two others said in the Crack thread on the drugs board, I would like to hear an argument SPECIFIC TO CRACK that would persuade me that decriminalising it will reduce the social harm and surrounding crime, both far in excess now than that relating to any other (illegal) drug. I would need to be convinced they wouldn't continue or get worse.

    Anyway, in the real world, it's not going to happen .. crack will be the very last one to get decriminalised.

    So the scenario of increased tolerance (at least de facto) of cannabis but continued attempts to target the crack trade will I imagine be the main focus for this debate.

    Plus other issues such as those Happy Jo raised ... how to reduce past alienation between the Police and the locals.
  27. William of Walworth

    William of Walworth Festographer

    Same with rocks as with heroin??? No expert me but the craving is so much more frequent and intense and psychotic and outwardly directed , often in dangerous ways???

    I'm not convinced.. the evidence would be interesting.

    I do agree with medically prescribed heroin for addicts but I also find it hard to cross that Rubicon of following the same policy with crack. Even people with liberal attitudes towards drugs, and more to the point Police and policy makers, would need more convincing I suspect.

    Sorry .. this is a broader debate and really one for the drugs board, where it's already been raised, because as I said crack is NOT going to be decriminalised in the forseeable, so the Commander and us will be debating a scenario closer to the status quo.
  28. nick

    nick Pleomorphic Adenomas R us

    Personally I would like to see a larger split between weed and harder drugs - not an original stance I know.
    Therefore the purveyors of weed need to be separated from the sellers of other stuff.

    Here is my initial thought:
    1) Increased patrols & hassle of dealers in the "hot spots" of Coldharbour lane, Atlantic & Railton & the BR station - to drive them out.
    2) an (obviously off the record) tacit agreement with the dealers that they can sell their smack and crack in a place that is slightly more cut off from the centre of town (St Mathews peace garden? / a part of Clapham common?). This would create space between them and the general population and would mean the users etc would move with them. (I have seen the way that the street walkers in Brixton tend to move to be close to their dealers). It would also avoid the problem that if you take one dealer out, another springs up to take his place and there would be less chance of passers by being hit by random gunfire.
    3) Let small time weed dealing continue from those low profile retail outlets that I am sure the Commander is fully aware of. this gets the "casual" smoker away from dealers in other stuff.

    I am sure that the above is riddled with problems (think what would happen to house prices in Clapham if there was large scale dealing on the common LOL :eek: ). but is there any sense at all in what I say?
  29. bang

    bang i hear voices

    william, when someone burgles you,leaves you paranoid in your own home who cares if it's for heroin or for for crack
    i see what you're saying about violence but both are still causing crime, i can't see how you can see an argument for heroin on prescription but not crack - surely violence is in fact worse than the loss of property and that's ignoring the psychological damage burglary can do
    (sorry to hijack this thread somewhat, maybe take it to the crack scumbag drug thread instead)
  30. drfranni

    drfranni Coldharbour Crone

    I agree that being burgled is very upsetting but:
    1) I have no doubt I was burgled "casually" because I live so close to crack dealing - we are probably regarded as their cash machines
    2) I would be content to live with the risk of burglary if I thought I could walk home from Brixton Centre Ville after an evening out without fear and that my children could come home from school or go to the corner shop without being attacked.

    At the weekend, I sent my son to buy some cheese - he didn't return after 10 minutes, I RAN to the shop - no sign of him - I started to drive around, in a blind panic - only to discover that he had seen some dodgy looking peeps and had walked to another shop, about a mile away, to avoid them.

    This is a sad way to live

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