Middle Class Cocaine Use Blamed As Crime Rises in Putney

Sharp rise seen in offences involving violence, robbery and burglary

Wandsworth Borough - violence against the person offences. Source: Metropolitan Police


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The latest figures issued by the Metropolitan Police show that the level of crime in Putney and Roehampton has continued to increase.

Parts of the SW15 area have seen significant rises in offences involving violence, robbery and burglary and these crimes are up across the whole of the borough of Wandsworth. Senior police officers and politicians have recently been linking rising violent crime and middle class recreational drug use in the capital.

For the whole of London crime has risen by 3.9% in the year to July and in Wandsworth this rise has been 4.4% There have been big rises in burglary (12.6%), robbery (38.8%) and violence against the person (11%) in the borough. Violent crime in Wandsworth is at the highest level for around a decade.

At a more local level Thamesfield ward had a massive surge in robbery with this type of crime more than doubling. Burglary offences are also on the rise with an increase of 45.1% Violence against the person in the ward rose by 15% with harassment making up the largest number of this category. Overall crime is broadly unchanged in the ward over the last year with a decrease in theft and handling offences, most prevalent type of crime locally, declining.

East Putney saw a more modest rise in violent crime over the last year with a rise of just 2% but robberies rose by 25%. On the other hand there was a decrease in the number of burglaries. Overall the crime figures were more or less the same as last year.

West Putney ward saw crime rise by 3.7% with modest falls in burglary, robbery and violence against the person.

Roehampton and Putney Heath experienced an 8.3% rise in crimes of violence against the person and robberies were up by 20% but the amount of reported burglaries fell. Overall crime in the ward was down by 3%

West Hill ward saw crime overall falling and the number of robberies and burglaries are down. Violent crime also hasn’t seen the level of increase seen elsewhere in the area.

Southfields saw crimes categorised as violence against the person rise by 15.7% and a 50% increase in robberies. Combined with a more modest increase in burglaries, offences in the ward rose by over 9%

Many people in the area believe there is a correlation between rising levels of crime and falling police numbers combined with the closure of the local police station. However, senior police officers and politicians have recently blamed increased middle class drug use for fuelling other types of crim.

The latest crime survey shows that cocaine use is at a decade high and was up by 15% last year with an estimated 875,000 people using it last year. Local police officers have suggested they are aware of widespread use in the Putney area.

The Metropolitan police commissioner Cressida Dick said, “There is this challenge that there are a whole group of middle-class – or whatever you want to call them – people who will sit round … happily think about global warming and fair trade, and environmental protection and all sorts of things, organic food, but think there is no harm in taking a bit of cocaine. Well, there is; there’s misery throughout the supply chain.”

The National Crime Agency have said that the surge in violent crime in London is in part down to the activity of drugs gangs and it is believed that other types of offences like burglary and robbery are often linked to the operations of drugs gangs. David Lammy, MP for Tottenham, has made a direct link between the booming middle class cocaine demand and drug related killings in London

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, this week has also criticised people who take cocaine at ‘middle class parties’ in the belief it is a victimless crime.

August 17, 2018

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