Four in ten Britons say they’ve witnessed drug deals in their neighbourhoods

Joanna MorrisData Journalist
March 10, 2023, 9:56 AM GMT+0

The government isn’t doing enough to crack down on neighbourhood drug crime, according to 57% of the public

Labour has announced plans to flood drug dealing hotspots with police officers in a crackdown on drug crime if elected, news likely to be welcomed by a significant proportion of Britons who claim to have seen dealers operating in their neighbourhoods.

According to a new YouGov poll, four in ten Britons (41%) have seen suspected drug deals close to their doorsteps at least once or twice – including 8% who say they’ve witnessed dealing “many times”.

Young people are more likely to suspect dealing is going on in their neighbourhoods, with half of 18 to 24-year-olds (51%) saying they think they’ve witnessed at least one deal in progress, including 14% who’ve seen suspected drug deals on many occasions.

In contrast, a third of those aged 65 and over (33%) suspect they’ve seen drug dealing in their neighbourhood at least once or twice, with 5% witnessing it on many occasions.

Half of Britons (50%) have never witnessed a suspected deal in their area.

One in eleven Britons “very regularly” see drug users in their neighbourhood

Three in ten Britons (29%) say they regularly see people they suspect to be under the influence of drugs in their neighbourhood, with 9% saying they see drug users “very” regularly.

Just 24% of the British public say they never have.

Again, young people are more likely to say they often see drug users in their neighbourhoods – 13% of 18 to 24-year-olds say they see people under the influence of drugs very regularly, compared to 5% of those aged 65 and over.

Britons believe the authorities don’t do enough to tackle neighbourhood drug crime

Last year, the government set out plans for a “swift, certain, tough” approach to drug possession – but according to more than half of the public (57%), the government is doing too little to tackle neighbourhood drug crime.

In comparison, 17% say the government’s efforts are about right, while 3% say they do too much.

Six in ten people (61%) who voted Conservative in the last general election are among those who believe the government isn’t doing enough, with 58% of Labour supporters saying the same.

Overall, a quarter of Britons (26%) believe their local police forces are doing about the right amount of work to tackle neighbourhood drug crime, though half (49%) say they do too little – just 2% say police do too much.

Half of the public (50%) believe local councils don’t do enough to address the problem, with 20% saying they do enough and 1% too much.

Picture: Getty

See full tables here

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