CCTV installed in St Albans drug dealing hotspot: “We feel safe again”

Arthur Road. Picture: Google Maps

Arthur Road. Picture: Google Maps - Credit: Archant

CCTV has been installed at a suspected drug dealing hotspot in St Albans.

PCSO Che Ponton on Arthur Road. Picture: Herts police

PCSO Che Ponton on Arthur Road. Picture: Herts police - Credit: Archant

Police put up the cameras after the Scorpion Team and the St Albans Central, North and West Safer Neighbourhood Team received a number of complaints from residents about suspected cannabis dealing in Arthur Road.

There has also been high-visibility and covert police patrols, stop and searches, and street meets to try and stop the criminal behaviour.

St Albans district council (SADC) provided the cameras to capture the offending.

PC Dan Bleach from the Scorpion Team, said: “It was great to work closely with the Safer Neighbourhood Team especially PCSOs Adriano Russo and Che Ponton, and the council, to make such a positive impact on the local community.”

PC Jenna Hutchinson, also from the Scorpion Team, said residents were pleased with their presence.

Comments included “We feel safe again”, “You’ve helped us take our road back”, and “We feel so much happier and safer”.

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She said: “We were receiving a number of reports about young people dealing cannabis in the street.”

The reports concentrated around the alleyways from Arthur Road to Woodstock Road South and Beaumont Avenue.

She added: “I’ve never seen such overwhelming positivity that our presence brought to the road and how grateful all those were that we spoke to, who were of all ages.”

Business and community portfolio holder for St Albans district council, Cllr Salih Gaygusuz, said: “The council’s Community Safety Team has worked closely with the police on a high-visibility campaign aimed at preventing crime and helping residents reclaim their road.

“I am pleased to say that this partnership working has proved successful and people now feel much safer in their local community.”

The Scorpion Team deal with burglaries, robbery, and drug and vehicle crime.