Residents’ fears over ‘blatant drug dealing’ in Bury St Edmunds

St Johns Street, Bury St Edmunds ANL-141009-201645009
St Johns Street, Bury St Edmunds ANL-141009-201645009
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Residents of a Bury St Edmunds street are concerned about illegal activity they say is taking place in front of their properties.

One ‘anxious’ St John’s Street resident, who did not want to be named for fear of reprisal, said he believed a house nearby was being used to conduct drug deals.

He said: “Every day from about noon until 6-7pm they’ve got people knocking on the door and buying drugs. Before they used to have a secret knock and then they would go inside, but now they’re selling from the doorstep.”

Keen for a higher police presence, he added: “It’s getting dangerous, that’s the way I see it. If they (the police) don’t get on top of it now and nip it in the bud this is going to get dangerous – there should be zero tolerance.”

Another resident, who raised the same issue at a police priority setting meeting on Wednesday, said: “It’s so blatant it’s unbelievable, and people are getting quite nervy around there and worried about saying anything.”

Robert Kendall, who moved to the street about a year ago, said he too had seen drug taking and drug deals taking place outside his home.

“I think if they don’t clamp down on it, it’ll get worse,” he said.

One area of concern is the churchyard at St John the Evangelist, a known ‘hang out’ for drug users.

One of the church wardens, who did not wish to be named, said a ‘sharp box’ was kept in the vestry to dispose of needles found in the church grounds.

She confirmed an incident had taken place last week in which police and paramedics were called to assist a man, suspected of taking drugs, after he became unwell in the churchyard.

Of the problem generally, she said: “We’ve been in contact with police and police have come to see us about it and we’re leaving it in their hands for the time being.”

“We’ve sought advice, talked it through and we’re trying to find ways of dealing with it,” she added.

A police spokesman said they were aware of issues with drug taking in the area and were ‘doing more patrols where possible’.

Sgt Alistair Torkington said members of the public could help him ‘build an intelligence picture’ by calling 101 or emailing to report suspicious activity.

“Without that we’re blind,” he said.

Police carried out a search of a property in St John’s Street last month and arrested a 43-year-old man on suspicion of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs. He was released on bail until September 25.