I despise drugs on many ......many ........many levels ....i have seen what they do to people .....families .....and it personally affected me .......a family member sold all my childhood memorabilia for drugs ......so my hatred runs deep ......beyond .....newquay....... used to beautiful little town .....but once again drugs ruined it .......as always .......if you start executing the users and dealers it will stop ...but they won't they do it in china at soccer/football games at half time.........i hae no sympathy or understanding for drugs ....all you have to say is no .....that's it ....then people say ......oh!!!!!!......." it's easy for you to say ".......no it is all based on choice....... to fuck up ........some people survive .......lots don't /.......that is the price to pay for saying yes!!!!!!!!i have been in pain many....... many........ times and had the chance to succumb ....but i have self worth .....and respect that is the difference ........you choose your path of destruction or survival .......
This is what is happening......... drugs are destroying beautiful little towns....... and there needs to be a severe penalty like China does .......you start executing for the consumption...... as well as the dealing ........and boom!!!!!!! .....problem stops !!!!!!......but what do i know!!!!!! .......i am just a vanilla gorilla ....... looking for a free table or pole ...... dance .......
Our pretty seaside town used to be UK’s Magaluf – now it’s overrun with brazen junkies who do drug deals on street
BOASTING turquoise waters and manicured beaches, Newquay was once dubbed the 'British Magaluf', with thousands of partygoers flocking to its packed bars every summer.
But while the Cornish town has worked hard to shake off its reputation as the South West's boozy party capital, a dangerous new crime epidemic has sprung up in its place.
In recent years, Newquay has become one of the prettiest drug hotspots in the country, with county lines gangs flooding its shores with heroin, crack, cocaine and cannabis.
Home Office figures show Devon and Cornwall Police seized 18.7kg of cocaine in the year to March 2022 – up from 16.2kg the year before - while ketamine seized rose from 0.3kg in 2021 to 1.8kg last year.
Just last week a teenager suffered a seizure in a Newquay nightclub during an event aimed at 16 and 17-year-olds, which police believe was ‘drug induced’.
It came days after sweeping raids across the town and nearby areas of St Austell, Truro and Penzance saw 31 people arrested in a landmark operation to crack down on criminal gangs operating from as far away as Merseyside.
When The Sun visited this week, locals told of seeing regular evidence of the underlying drugs problem, which has been elevated to the main priority for police covering the area.
Local businessman and ‘master shaper’ Dave Farrow runs Karma Surfboard shop on Beachfield Avenue near Towan beach.
He moved from Norfolk to Newquay in 1983 and worked as a club doorman when the licensing laws changed to allow pubs to remain open into the early hours.
Dave said: “In those days people would often come out at 10pm or later, they’d be already drunk and wanting to party, and it would get quite messy. It was the party capital at that point and the streets were packed with groups of young people.
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“As a doorman I saw all sorts. I remember opening a toilet cubicle, the floor would be flooded in urine, but they’d be snorting cocaine and kneeling in it, because they were so out of it.
“Now the drug problem here is different. There are areas of Newquay which have become synonymous with drugs. Typically, they are the streets which have houses split into flats, rather than housing whole families.
“That’s where the dealers and a lot of the users tend to live, but it happens openly in the town too.
“It’s really common to smell cannabis, people walk around smoking it and it’s almost become socially acceptable now. The trouble is they think they’re superior and above the law.
“I’ve also seen people at the end of the street, near the beach, openly snorting cocaine.”
Stephen Walker owns the fishing and angling shop Sling Your Hook on Beach Road, in the town centre.
He said: “The fact Newquay has a drug problem is well known and everyone knows the main areas which are a problem.
“I’ve seen people taking drugs on the streets, and drug deals happening. They don’t care who sees them and it’s so obvious a deal is taking place.
“The main problem areas seem to be the roads where it’s mainly rented accommodation for outsiders.”
Ten years ago, the town was overrun with large groups of young people, often on hen or stag dos, or celebrating the end of their GCSEs or A-levels.
The priority for police was to keep check on the rowdy crowds flocking to Newquay to get drunk in the nightclubs and throwing up on the streets before spilling on to the beaches.
In 2009 police and council chiefs joined forces to clamp down on anti-social behaviour, banning T-shirts with rude slogans and X-rated inflatables popular with hen and stag dos.
Gradually the town began to see a shift from its wild image, which led travel guide The Lonely Planet to dub it ‘Cornwall’s Costa del Sol’.
Wes Roux is the leaseholder of the once drab and dirty Towen Beach, running the shops and renting out the pretty beach huts which overlook the beach.
The beach huts used to be a popular hangout for drug users and the ground in front of them littered with needles.
Now it’s a different story.
Wes says: “The beach used to be packed with hundreds of people at night after the clubs kicked out, but we no longer allow it.
“We clamped down on the use of drugs and have become a community beach. There’s the odd person taking cannabis, but it’s a million miles away from what it was when Newquay was the party capital.
“There are a couple of places in the town well known for being the drug areas, but we don’t put up with it down here, so people have had to go elsewhere.”
Drug gangs invasion
The County Lines problem appeared in Newquay almost overnight in the summer of 2017, as opportunistic dealers turned the drugs scene away from the increasingly monitored shores and on to the streets.
Now, the area known for drugs problems is what police refer to as the ‘L’ shape. It stretches from the Spar shop on Tower Road, along Higher Tower Road and across Mount Wise, as far as the Tregunnel Hill junction.
The National Crime Agency estimates over half of the areas targeted by big city county lines dealers are coastal areas like Newquay.
They move into a bedsit of a drug addict or vulnerable person in a practice known as ‘cuckooing’, before finding out who the local dealers are, who the addicts are and selling drugs via an untracable ‘burner’ phone.
They typically deal in heroin and crack cocaine.
The overall crime rate in Newquay in 2022 was 69 crimes per 1,000 people, which is 73 per cent higher than the county-wide average of 40 per 1,000 residents.
In February, the area's drug culture was laid bare in the raids made during Operation Medusa, which was led by a dedicated Merseyside police team tackling county lines drug supply.
Police recovered large amounts of drugs as well as cash and weapons including guns and knives.
Last month on April 4, four men were jailed for a total of 31 years for their part in an organised crime to transport drugs from Liverpool to Cornwall.
Two of the men were caught after leaving a bag in a pub in Newquay, containing £50,000 worth of heroin.
The dangerous effect of the epidemic was highlighted last week at a drum and bass night for under 18s, which attracted around 1,400 teens.
At least one teenager suffered a drug-induced seizure at Berties nightclub, leaving them needing hospital treatment.
A spokesman for the club told Cornwall Live: "There is an investigation taking place. We are working with the police and licensing and are awaiting the results."
For the seaside resort's diehard tourists, its shift away from its party heyday is evident - but so too is its continuing drug problem.
Keith and Karen Wynne, from Chester, are regular visitors to Newquay, where they enjoyed their honeymoon back in 1978.
Karen said: “We visited before lockdown, in 2019, and the town was a bit more grubby and not so well kept.
“The council’s obviously putting a lot of effort into making it look nice.”
However, Keith added: “It’s not surprising to hear there are problems with drugs. It happens everywhere, and there are a few dodgy looking characters around.”
Alison Hernandez, police and crime commissioner for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, told The Sun: “It is absolutely vital that we work with other forces to tackle the drug dealing which does so much damage in our communities.
“These operations will continue with my full support, which includes direct financial investment, so our communities and the dealers who seek to exploit our most vulnerable citizens understand that this evil trade will not be tolerated here.”
Newquay town councillor Louis Gardner said: "County Lines is an issue that the police are fighting hard to tackle. This issue is common across rural areas, especially areas with a high seasonal uplift
"The issue of drugs needs a multi-agency response. Newquay Safe was established as an organisation over 10 years ago, the first of its kind in the UK. This organisation meets monthly in the winter months but weekly in the summer to tackle issues at the source.
"Led by Cornwall Council, members include all of the emergency services, local authorities, charities and community organisations who work together for a number of common aims, drug issues being one.
"The organisation has been so successful in its approach that this model has been rolled out all over the country. It is only through initiatives such as these that we can succeed."
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