News and views from north Bristol's urban village

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Drugs Raid at the Foresters

News that the Foresters Arms on Westbury Hill has been raided by police is a mixed blessing for local residents.

On the one hand, the police have responded to a growing number of complaints from local residents about drug dealing and anti-social disorder based in and around the pub and have arrested three people on drug and other charges during last Friday's raid.

On the other hand, the number of arrests is fairly small compared with the high level of (alleged, yawn, yawn) drug dealing that has been taking place at the pub in recent months and this will not have been stopped through one raid. The fact that the police have now acted may, unfortunately, lead to less police activity in the future as resources are targeted elsewhere.

The official police PR on the raid emphasises the message of the police's responsiveness:

"Local residents literally applauded the officers as they carried out this operation" according to Mark Jackson, the police's north Bristol neighbourhood inspector.

"By holding meetings with residents they have been able to tell us what they want our priorities to be. This pub was one of them.

"I hope this has shown that we listen to our community's concerns and act upon them to solve the problem."

The reality, of course, is that after the dramatic sight of two police minibuses shutting off the road around the war memorial and large numbers of officers entering the pub and detaining those inside, the Foresters was open on Saturday morning and it was business as usual, in every sense of the word.

Comments on the Evening Post web site related to this story vary from the "Well done police" to "Westbury snobs are all nimbys".

Local residents who want to meet with the local police and express their views on the matter can do so this Friday night (June 20th) when the next monthly PACT meeting takes place from 7.30
at Waitrose, Northumbria Drive, Henleaze.

All members of the public are welcome to attend or can register their views online here.

For the record, Trym Tales supports the active disruption through all legal means of the use and supply of all currently controlled drugs and the active implementation of all existing legal means to reduce the consumption and misuse of currently legalised drugs (such as alcohol).

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