Met urged to do more to tackle drug dealers in Barking and Dagenham

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Barking and Dagenham has one of the highest crime solving rates in the capital, according to the Met. - Credit: Met Police

The police have been urged to crack down on drug dealers by the town hall's community safety chief.

Cllr Margaret Mullane told Supt Gerry Parker from the Met's east area command people in Barking and Dagenham don't always get the response they would like after contacting the service.

She said while she couldn't sing the police's praises enough for their work in the pandemic, more needed to be done to tackle people peddling drugs.

"To the people we represent, the low level crimes are not getting picked up. That makes our public, to a certain degree, not feel safe," she added.

Cllr Margaret Mullane, the council's cabinet member for enforcement and community safety. Picture: A

Cllr Margaret Mullane said everyone needs to put a stop to illegal gatherings and protect lives. - Credit: LBBD

Supt Parker replied the Met has made "significant improvements" with 359 people charged with possession with intent to supply last year compared to 245 in 2019.

The councillor was speaking after police response times and crime solving rates were revealed during a council meeting last Wednesday (February 3).

A 12 month rolling total of emergency calls shows Barking Dagenham is the second highest east area borough with 10,162, compared to Redbridge's 13,187 and Havering's 8,789.

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The average total percentage of emergency calls responded to within Met target times in the borough is 79 per cent. This is lower than the London average of 83pc and the lowest in the east area command.

Getting across the borough hampers response efforts, but an extra 30 officers is helping to address the issue, Supt Parker explained.

Barking and Dagenham is top five across London for solving crimes. In  2019, 9.2pc of crimes were cracked. Last year's figure is 13.5pc.

Demand hasn't changed much in the last year, but there had been an increase in calls relating to domestic violence and missing persons.

Superintendent Gerry Parker

Superintendent Gerry Parker. - Credit: Met Police

On outreach, Supt Parker admitted more needed to be done to increase community representation on police advisory groups and to get better access to meetings between the police and public.

Cllr Jane Jones picked Supt Parker up on the fact the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender went unmentioned in a report on representation in the borough.

Following reference to serial killer Stephen Port's murder of four gay men in Barking, Cllr Jones said: "That's a really important group you should be reaching out to."

Supt Parker replied the LGBT community is discussed regularly by police leaders.