Middle Class Cocaine Use Blamed As Crime Rises in Chiswick
Sharp rise seen in offences involving violence, robbery and burglary
The latest figures issued by the Metropolitan Police show that the level of crime in the local area has continued to increase.
Parts of Chiswick have seen significant rises in offences involving violence, robbery and burglary and these crimes are up across the whole of the borough of Hounslow.
The Chiswick Homefields ward, which covers much of the eastern part of Chiswick has seen the most significant rises with offences there up by 32% in the twelve months to June. Violent crime rose at the same rate and in May the number of this type of crime was the highest ever recorded in the ward under the present measurement system which dates back to 2010 with 32 recorded offences. Burglary was up by 46.8% in the ward over the year and robbery rose by 44.4%
Turnham Green ward, which includes most of Chiswick High Road, saw crime up by 13.7% with offences involving violence up by 17.3%
Chiswick Riverside ward hasn’t seen the same rise in violent crime. There the most common offence was theft, mainly from motor vehicles which was up by 9.4%
Southfield ward in Ealing borough saw a fall in crime over the last year with offences down by 9.2% This reflects success in reducing theft from motor vehicles in the area with theft and handling offences down by a fifth. Crime in Ealing borough was down by 1.1%
Across London crime has risen by 4.6% in the year to June and in Hounslow this rise has been 5.7% There have been big rises in burglary (17%), robbery (28.8%) and violence against the person (9%) in the borough. Violent crime in Hounslow is at the highest level for around a decade. There was some success with a big fall in theft and handling offences which are down 37.9% On a borough-wide basis these are predominantly theft from shops although in Chiswick there tends to be a higher proportion of theft from motor vehicles. Only 115 of 2,364 burglaries were successfully detected and most of this type of crime solved was of theft from commercial premises rather than residential properties.
Many people in Chiswick 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 Chiswick 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 5, 2018