Falkirk residents: “We want the drug dealers out of our street now”

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Drug users have allegedly been pulling up in taxis at a local primary school – posing as parents picking up their children but picking up their drugs instead.

That’s just one of the issues the fed up – and fearful – residents of Falkirk’s Hawley Road say they have to put up with on a daily basis because of the “family of drug dealers” who are supposedly operating at a property in the street.

Drug use could be treated as a medical problem, rather than a criminal one (Picture: Sean Bell)

Drug use could be treated as a medical problem, rather than a criminal one (Picture: Sean Bell)

For the last year-and-a-half householders say this “drug den” has been “like a magnet”, attracting anti-social elements to the quiet residential area.

“There are a lot of elderly people in this street who have had to put up with this and it’s also happening just yards away from St Andrew’s Primary School.”

Another resident said: “These people are taking the drugs they’ve just been given at the house and then wandering into the school. There are people pulling up in taxis at the school and pretending they’re there to get their children, but they go to this house and get their drugs.”

Police Scotland confirmed a property in the street was raided on October 14, but no drugs were found on that occasion and no arrests were made.

A police spokesperson added there were currently additional patrols being carried out in the street to address the concerns of residents, who stated they could not believe Falkirk Council was allowing the tenants to continue to live in the property in question – which is currently being treated for a rat infestation.

“We’re having to deal with rats in the street,” said one resident. “Both the two-legged and four-legged variety.”

A Falkirk Council spokesman said: “We take any allegations of drug use in our properties seriously, and share any intelligence we have with Police Scotland. If there is any evidence or conviction of drug related issues or breach of tenancy, we take appropriate enforcement action against our tenants as per the terms and conditions of the tenancy agreement.

“We encourage our tenants/residents to report any concerns to Police Scotland.”

Householders say they have had to lock their wheely bins away because drug users have been putting their needles, tin foil and other drug paraphernalia in them. When the bins are not available they have been discarding them in the street.

“We actually found a machete wrapped in jogging bottoms lying in the street,” said one resident.

Another added: “I’ve had drug users shouting through my letter box, thinking I was the drug dealer they were looking for. They put their arm through and tried my door handle. I had to give them directions to the correct house.

“You’ve got three or four of them all standing around, loitering outside people’s houses as one goes into the dealer to pick up the drugs. People don’t feel safe.

“They’re sleeping all day and staying up all night partying – it’s a dirty free-for-all hostel. We have car alarms going off at all hours – police told us they had 52 complaints about the property in the space of a month.”

The Falkirk Herald spoke to the resident at the centre of the row and she stated her neighbours had a “vendetta” against her and just wanted her out of the street.

She added: “Our house was raided, but no drugs were found. This is all coming from the neighbours who want me out.”

The residents of Hawley Road highlighted their concerns in the same week the Scottish Affairs Committee published its report on problem drug use in Scotland.

One of the recommendations contained within the report was drugs for personal use being decriminalised.

MP Pete Wishart, chairman of the Scottish Affairs Committee, said: “Throughout our inquiry we heard tragic accounts of the pain and suffering problem drug use is causing in Scotland. If this number of people were being killed by any other illness, the Government would declare it as a public health issue and act accordingly.

“The evidence is clear – the criminal justice approach does not work. Decriminalisation is a pragmatic solution to problem drug use – reducing stigma around drug use and addiction, and encouraging people to seek treatment.

“I hope the next Government takes this recommendation seriously.”