Finsbury Park phone box ‘misery’: Three InLinkUK facilities suspended after suspected use for drug deals
- Credit: Siorna Ashby
BT and its partner InLinkUK have temporarily suspended free calls to mobiles from three Finsbury Park telephone boxes due to fears they’re creating “misery” by facilitating drug deals.
The Met Police and Islington Council believe free InLinks phone boxes in Blackstock Roastock Road, Fonthill Road and Seven Sisters Road have been used to arrange drug deals since they were installed in late 2017.
Neighbours have made a series of complaints about antisocial behaviour linked to these spots in recent months, prompting calls to mobiles to be suspended while Islington discusses solutions with its tech partners and the Met Police.
Islington’s crime chief Cllr Andy Hull (Lab, Highbury East) said: “These free-phone wi-fi units are intended to provide a useful service to the public.
“However, in certain areas they have unfortunately attracted people intent on abusing them and making life a misery for residents living nearby.
You may also want to watch:
“I’m glad to see InLinkUK has recognised the problem and is taking responsibility for it, committing to listen to and work with the council and local police to find a solution and monitoring closely the way its units are being used.
The three aforementioned InLinks are still providing ultra-fast WIFI, calls to landlines and emergency services and access to four key charities: Samaritans, Childline, End Youth Homelessness and Runway Helpline.
- 1 Man killed in 'shooting' in north London
- 2 Appeal to find four children missing from north London with father and grandmother
- 3 Letters on People Friendly Streets in St Peter's
- 4 Man killed and two injured in triple shooting
- 5 Thousands of care home staff yet to be vaccinated in London
- 6 Sadiq Khan warns of flooding threat to Islington from climate emergency
- 7 Helen Anderson: Finsbury Park murder victim's father pays tribute to his daughter
- 8 Islington kids are being 'drawn into county lines drug smuggling'
- 9 Man jailed for rape of young girl in north London 40 years ago
- 10 Police looking to speak to man in connection with sexual assault
Matt Bird, general manager of InLinkUK, said: “Unfortunately, we have seen some isolated incidents where a small number of users have abused the service and we’re committed to addressing that.
“As a result of the discussions and as part of our continued efforts to better serve communities, BT and InLinkUK have temporarily removed the ability to make free phone calls to mobile phones from three InLinks in the borough.
“We will monitor the impact of this change and will continue to engage with the council, community and the Police to ensure that the InLinks remain a welcome addition to Islington’s community.”
InLink’s is a start-up with an Aldgate HQ which partnered with BT to replace existing payphones with smaller models offering a range of free services.
These are funded by advertising and don’t cost councils anything.