IslingtonTribune

The independent London newspaper

‘Phone kiosks responsible for rise in drug dealing’

18 January, 2019 — By Emily Finch

An ‘InLink’ kiosk – the phone boxes are used for drug dealing, it is claimed

NEW phone boxes – including one outside a former police station – are causing a rise in drug dealing, the Town Hall’s community safety chief has warned.

Cllr Andy Hull said that free phone call “InLink” kiosks outside the old Highbury Vale police station in Blackstock Road and Tesco in Seven Sisters Road were being used to set up drug deals.

The kiosks, owned by BT, provide free wifi connections, mobile charging and calls.

Cllr Hull said that the two phone boxes “appear to be being used to arrange nearby drug-deals”, adding: “I share residents’ growing disquiet about certain InLink kiosks in the borough being used for criminal purposes.”

Highbury ward PC Alex Cain said: “At the Blackstock estate, we had issues with it in terms of anti-social behaviour and drugs, that calmed down and then one of these phone boxes went up and, God knows, it got worse.”

There were 100 applications to Islington Council to install similar phone boxes by Maximus Networks Limited in the past year. All but three of the applications were rejected by the council.

David Trillo, secretary of the Islington Society, said: “We have realised in the last year that these applications have put a heavy load on planners and detracted from their serious planning work.”

A spokeswoman for InLink Uk said: “InLinks are designed to serve local communities by offering free wifi and connectivity to those who need it.

“Unfortunately, some users in limited locations abuse this type of service, and we’re committed to stopping that.”

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