Crack war hits town
AS PETER Brown's killer starts his life sentence in prison, police are facing the fact that a drugs war has come to Ipswich. Rocks of crack cocaine are currently available on the streets for as little as £10 and they are getting cheaper.
AS PETER Brown's killer starts his life sentence in prison, police are facing the fact that a drugs war has come to Ipswich.
Rocks of crack cocaine are currently available on the streets for as little as £10 and they are getting cheaper.
The day Peter Brown's body was found in a Henley Road flat was the day turf wars, crack cocaine, and murder came to town.
London pusher Mr Brown was the first casualty in a war between the armed out-of-town pushers and Ipswich's home-grown drugs fraternity.
While an argument over one deal sparked the fatal tussle, the jury in Norwich Crown Court heard how a turf war was at the heart of Brown's slaying.
A battle for control of one very valuable prize: crack cocaine.
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More addictive than cocaine, and cut to maximise dealers' profits, crack is finding a foothold on the streets of Ipswich.
According Detective Chief Inspector Trevor Smith, one of the men fighting Grade A drugs in London, it is not uncommon for London pushers to seek out new territory outside the capital.
He said: "The idea of pushers spending an hour coming out of Hackney along the A12 to find a new patch, Ipswich doesn't surprise me in the least.
"We know they travel as far as Liverpool, so Peterborough and Colchester isn't that far.
"These are businessmen pure and simple, they are just looking for a new market."
And that new market is Ipswich.
Combating cocaine, and its more deadly derivative crack, is now a force priority for Suffolk.
Brian Tobin, from Ipswich's drug treatment centre, Iceni House – currently running at a capacity of 60 undergoing treatment – said: "Anyone who thinks Ipswich is a sleepy town immune from the spread of crack cocaine needs to think again.
"We are very deeply concerned about its spread. We need to guard against a head-in-the- sand mentality of people that don't think Ipswich has a drugs problem."
Mr Tobin is so concerned he is calling on London experts to train agencies in the Ipswich area in the spread of crack.
He said: "The majority of the town's opiate users already smoke crack. We have to address the problem now before it is too late."
And according to another expert in the treatment of Ipswich addicts, "traditional" cocaine, in powdered form is rarely seen on the streets of Ipswich.
It has all but been replaced by crack cocaine, much more profitable to the dealer who "cooks" it with additives.
Cocaine was traditionally thought of as the rich man's drug, but now crack is being sold on Suffolk streets at prices low enough for youngsters to use.
Crack houses once seen only in the United States have, in the last five years, made it across the Atlantic and now, it seems, to Suffolk.
Brian Tobin said: "The thing about crack is that it used to be prohibitively expensive but the price is coming down.
"We have users who have spent £300 a day on drugs. With the widespread use of crack cocaine, then crack houses are inevitable."
And where there's crack there is violence.
Mr Tobin went on: "Crack is an absolute no no. It can make people violent. With heroin users the effect is more sedative but cocaine is a stimulant."
Norwich Crown Court heard last week how Peter Brown's killer, Paul Dwyer, took heroin after the stabbing and then injected himself with cocaine and had taken more heroin to stop the "spasms" from the cocaine.
Detective Chief Inspector Tim Beach, the officer with responsibility for drugs enforcement across the county, said: "We have seen a slight increase in crack cocaine in Ipswich. When dealers are arrested it is likely they have a number of drugs on their premises including crack."
He denied Ipswich was home to any "Mr Bigs" in the world of drugs. He said: "Mostly it's users dealing to feed their habit. Who is dealing is more chaotic, it changes from week to week."