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Drug dealer's are using ride-hailing apps to ferry drugs to clients

Taxi and ride-hailing apps are being used to ferry drugs around town by dealers according to a report in the Ilford Recorder. Police and councillors in Redbridge are working closely to tackle the increased amount of rides which are used to deliver drugs to clients. A number of reports from local residents of youths ordering cars through the apps and exchanging packages and money were brought to the attention of the police. Councillor Khayer Chowdury has said that there has been a number of incidents of dealers ordering different vehicles every day to make the drop off of drugs. The Valentines Safer Neighbourhood Team went undercover to catch the dealers in the act and were able to make some arrests thanks to tip-offs from local residents who reported suspicious activity in the area. Their investigations suggest that the Uber app is being used to transport the drugs and money back and forth, but the intelligence suggests that the drivers are unaware of what they are transporting and in any occasion where they may have suspicions they are too scared to report directly to the police because of fears of repercussions. MP for Ilford North, Wes Streeting has raised his concerns about the ease it is to use ride-hailing apps to "arrange and deliver drugs". Chairman of the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association (LTDA), Andy Kavanagh, has encouraged Taxi drivers who may suspect that Taxi ride-hailing apps are being used to ferry drugs across town in Black Taxis to "be brave" and refuse to complete the trip. Mr Kavanagh stressed the safety concerns of minicab drivers being able to confront such issues as they do not have a protective partition between themselves and passengers in the same way black taxi drivers do. Any drivers that suspect criminal activity taking place are encouraged to come forward a report it to the police.

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