An investigation has found that London-based drug dealers are filling a gap in the market after Cambridgeshire police look a number of local dealers into custody. The opportunists are thought to be selling heroin and crack cocaine at twice the London street value.
The price for a bag of heroin or a rock of crack cocaine in Cambridge is now approximately £15 each, whereas it would be half that in London. In the past week, two men, Shayne Walters, 17, and Matthew Aboderin, 21, both Londoners, have been arrested in Cambridge with hundreds of pounds worth of Class-A drugs hidden in their buttocks.
Judge Gareth Hawkesworth, speaking at Cambridge Crown Court, said the situation is becoming a “major problem”; he claims that local gangs are exploiting young people, pressuring them to commute to Cambridge and cash in on the lucrative market.
Successful policing and an influx of new dealers have directly affected the situation at street level. One addict, who has battled with drugs for over a decade, told Cambridge News: “There are a lot more dealers coming up from London to make money out of the situation – it’s like the gold rush for them. You get a lot of these young guys coming here dealing in the streets.”
It remains to be seen whether the spiralling prices will have a direct effect on addiction-based crime in the city centre. Lynda Kilkelly, Safer Communities Manager at Cambridge City Council, spoke to The Cambridge Student about ongoing efforts to counter this problem, citing the Council’s use of “street surgeries and door to door communications” to ensure better communications between the police and the community.
She also cited the “good relationship” between the police and “key personnel within the colleges” of the University.
TCS spoke to an anonymous student about the possible repercussions for the ‘student drug market’, which is supposedly focused on cannabis and ecstasy, but also includes ketamine and cocaine.
They said: “Drugs in Cambridge have always been in abundance compared to towns of a similar size …although prices and quality do fluctuate.”
However, they claimed that Cambridge students do not seem to have been affected by the current situation, as many buy off friends locally. “It will be interesting to see what happens with cocaine”, a ‘middle-ground’ drug that appeals to some students and serious addicts alike.
When asked about the ‘crisis’ of dealing focused in the more deprived areas of the city he added: “Sure there are drug issues, but it’s nothing special.”