Landlord urges action on street drug problem

Mike Thorpe outside Charmaine Court, St Leonards. 25/5/11
Mike Thorpe outside Charmaine Court, St Leonards. 25/5/11
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A LANDLORD is calling on police to crack down on drug dealing around his property - claiming it is out of control.

Mike Thorpe, who owns a flat in St Margaret’s Road, St Leonards, is sick and tired of rampant dealing and needles being left scattered on the ground.

He is demanding something be done about it and says that he is having trouble finding tenants willing to live in the area.

“This has gone on long enough,” he told the Observer. “There are needles left right outside the front door and money and drugs changing hands openly in the street.

“It’s extremely unsatisfactory and something needs to be done about it - a line has to be drawn.

“I have owned a flat here for nine years and spent £7,500 completely refurbishing it last year.

“I never had any trouble until a couple of years ago but now my tenants just want to leave and I can fully understand why.”

Cllr Jeremy Birch, who represents Central St Leonards said he was not aware of a particular drug problem in St Margaret’s Road but vowed to raise it with the police.

And a resident of the road - who was too scared to be named in case of reprisals - has confirmed Mr Thorpe’s reports that the situation there was getting worse.

The resident said: “We loved it when we first moved here but it has turned so sour so quickly.

“We have young children and we don’t want them playing outside because the last thing we want is for them to pick up the needles that are on the floor most days.

“We have had people knocking on our door looking for drugs and had our door handle ripped off - now we have had enough.

“There’s so much going on here but it’s difficult for the police because they can’t go in all guns blazing.

“I wouldn’t advise any families or young people to move into this area.”

PC Duncan Cleverley of Hastings Police said that they always welcomed tip-offs from the public and a double raid last week proved the force’s commitment to stamping out drug production and dealing in town.

“Where specific information about an address or premises can be developed, we will always look to take positive action, often with a warrant obtained under the Misuse of Drugs Act,” he said.

“Where information is less specific it is not always possible to take immediate visible action but all information is welcomed and encouraged.

“If you suspect drug dealing in your neighbourhood then call and tell us - help us make life difficult for drug dealers who try to come to Hastings.”

Anyone with information about drugs problem can call Hastings Police on 0845 6070999 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.