Labour London Assembly Member Andrew Dismore's calls to target middle-class cocaine users has been snubbed by the Metropolitan Police commissioner, Cressida Dick.
Calls to arrest middle-class cocaine users on the way home from dinner parties have been snubbed by the Metropolitan Police commissioner Cressida Dick.
The calls came from Labour London Assembly Member Andrew Dismore during a recent assembly police and crime committee meeting.
Mr Dismore suggested it would be a good way of lowering drug-related crime in the Capital, especially following remarks made by Ms Dick in July this year which called on middle-class cocaine users to think twice before taking drugs because it was not a “victimless crime”.
But Ms Dick insisted that arresting middle-class cocaine users was not going to reduce drug-related crime in London.
She said: “Our biggest interest is in people in possession with intent to supply.
“We don’t have infinite resources, I can’t put hundreds of officers on the streets. It’s not a good use of our resources to randomly stop and search people.
“We are going to put officers on the streets where we know there are drugs and drugs being supplied.”
But Mr Dismore hit back at Ms Dick, saying he was “concerned” the problems related to Class A drugs were not being tackled.
Ms Dick responded: “I don’t think it’s a good use of my resources to arrest people simply for possession rather than possession with intent to supply.
“We do arrest people for possession of drugs, but it is not a priority.”
Mr Dismore remained insistent the move would “send a message” that taking drugs is not a “victimless crime”.
Ms Dick also assured assembly members that measures to tackle people in London dealing drugs over “county-lines” were having “fantastic results”.
The “county-lines” phenomenon involves drug dealers operating beyond their own areas into other towns and different parts of the country.
So far, Sadiq Khan’s Violent Crime Taskforce has seized more than £3.5million worth of drugs.
But Ms Dick conceded that the number of people dealing drugs over county lines nationally has not fallen.
Ms Dick said: “At the moment I don’t feel like we are reducing the phenomenon.”
She added: “I think in some country towns it poses some tremendous challenges and in London we are the biggest exporter of county line crime.”