Drug paraphernalia street sales banned.
Crack pipes’ and ‘bongs’ are among a list of drugs paraphernalia that should disappear from the streets of Camden, north London from April 2006, after community complaints.
Camden Council has produced a list of items related to drugs misuse that will no longer be allowed for sale on the streets and in markets. The change will come in force from 1 April when all of the borough’s Street Trading Licences are renewed.
The move is part of a campaign to reduce drug-related anti-social behaviour, particularly in and around Camden Town. A crackdown launched in January this year has already led to 24 arrests for people offering cannabis. Evidence is being gathered for around 40 ASBOs to improve the quality of life for the community and set boundaries of behaviour for the perpetrator.
A letter has been sent to all Street Traders to let them know about the change. Around 350 licensed traders in Camden (50 forecourt traders and 300 street traders) are likely to be affected.
Cllr Jake Sumner, Executive Member for Community Safety at Camden Council said: “Bongs, pipes and other drugs paraphernalia fuel the climate of drug dealing and send out a message that it is ok. We, and the community, are saying very clearly that it is not. Banning drugs paraphernalia from being sold on the streets helps us to do this.
“Camden is a great place but let down by a minority of people who hassle everyone to buy drugs, regardless of their age. ‘Cannabis tourists’, who come from all over London and further, fuel this anti-social behaviour, making life a misery for residents, businesses and visitors.”
Alex Proud, Director of Proud Galleries and Vice Chair of Camden Town Unlimited (representing 300 businesses in Camden Town) added: “Whilst keeping its youth, sense of originality and sheer excitement is vital for the success of the future health of Camden Town and the market, drugs paraphernalia and drugs play absolutely zero part in this. Drugs, youth and creativity do not have to go together. Long may Camden market remain full of multi-cultural vitality and chaos, but let’s hope drugs play no part.”
Inspector John Daly said, "The Camden Town Police Team continue to work with the community and our partners to remove the drugs culture image which seems to have blighted Camden Town at this time. By working together we have successfully reduced overall crime in the area and are now turning our attention to the anti-social behaviour arising from the drugs market."
All local authorities have the power to decide what goods can be sold from licensed street trading pitches, under the London Local Authorities Act.
The banned items are all linked with drug use. The banned items include:
Cannabis incense products including sticks and cones
Cannabis and hemp lollies
Clay (which can be used for making crack pipes)
Herbs, Cacti or Fungi (or any part of them), In any form eg dried, processed cuttings etc
Products containing nitrite compounds e.g. liquid gold, tnt, pure gold, rise
Tobacco and non-tobacco blunts
Tablets or capsules containing a stimulant.