'Broad daylight crack dealing at Holloway Waitrose getting out of control', witness says
PUBLISHED: 08:47 08 May 2019 | UPDATED: 10:41 13 May 2019
Broad daylight drug dealing and crack smoking in and around the Holloway Waitrose carpark has become a daily blight on the lives of neighbours, claims one terrified witness.
The woman, who requested anonymity for fear of reprisals, alleges a white van has been driving to Shelburne Road "three of four times a day" to sell hard drugs to a group of addicts who "just stand there and wait" for their next fix.
Over the past few months, she claims people "smoking crack" and "screaming" outside her house in Shelburne Road has become part of the daily routine - and that the police are aware of the problem.
"I have lived in London all my life and I've never felt unsafe," she said. "I do now. It's getting out of control.
"My partner called the police [last week] when the van came down yet again. They said: 'It's not a priority for resources'. I can see it's about the cuts but if they just stayed here for the day they'd catch him.
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"I just need to look out of my window and, more often than not, there is drug dealing going on."
Last year this paper covered complaints about apparent drug taking and anti-social behaviour in the carpark stairwells of the nearby Morrisons, in Hertslet Road. This prompted Morrisons to turf users out, and saw Finsbury Park police ramp up patrols.
But the Shelburne Road neighbour says this has only pushed the problem a few roads down, with the alleged culprits seeming to be settling on a new supermarket "drug den".
"They have kinda moved to the Waitrose car park," she said. "They literally just hang around there and it [the van] pulls up to deal, and then they do drugs in the street in broad daylight."
A Waitrose and Partners spokesperson said: "As a responsible retailer we - like many other shops in the local area - will always report anything untowards to the police and support them with any investigations."
Ch Ins Neil Haylock, of the Central North Basic Command Unit, told the Gazette: "Drug dealing is a priority and the Highbury West Safer Neighbourhood Team have an enhanced team of officer to tackle the criminality impacting the ward - and Shelburne Road is regularly patrolled as part of this plan.
"Police work closely with the council to disrupt and detect this type of crime. We can only be successful if the public support us so offenders can be brought to justice. I urge the public to report drug dealing by calling 101."