So the kids are back at school and everyone is busy catching up on the local gossip. The neighbourhood drug dealers are a popular topic of conversation. Chattychap thinks that some of the teenagers in the area are being recruited to make the actual drug deliveries. This distances the dealers from the deals. And sadly some of the local kids don’t have very clear moral frameworks and would find the idea of making easy money very appealing.
Everyone knows who the dealers are, even the local police (I had a chat with them the other day about it). But to nick them, they need to catch them with the stuff, or in the act. This is extremely tricky, with a single PC and two PCSOs covering an area a good bit larger than our parish, which is home to nearly 3,000 souls.
The PCSOs told me that the best way that local people can help to get rid of these guys is to note any deals or activity that we see happening and pool them together to give to the police. But mostly it feels like nothing is being done, even though everyone knows what’s going on.
I saw the dealers just the other day, hanging about with some other guys at the top of our street. I couldn’t see a drug deal, but they were just standing around looking suspicious, maybe waiting for a deal or a delivery. Can the police use that? I doubt it.
Recently an elderly lady in our congregation was badly hurt when she was mugged very near to the church. The thief stole her handbag in broad daylight. Most people agree that it was probably a drug addict. We need to rid our neighbourhood of the dealers, but it seems an almost impossible task. I believe in the transforming power of the gospel, but we need to know people first to tell them of the forgiveness Jesus can give and how he can change lives. And I’m a little nervous about introducing myself.