An Open Letter to The Argus
I wish to draw your attention to flagrant mis-reporting by The Argus on 26th February 2009, in the article, 'Praise for London Road Drugs Sweep'.
The article highlighted a Sussex Police crackdown on drugs in Brighton in its employment of Operation: Reduction.
The mis-reporting was as follows:
1. Yes, it is true that the police operation resulted in the imprisonment of over 30 people involved in drugs. But, you failed to report that the large majority of these prisoners were drug addicts, rather than drug pushers.
2. You failed to report the method by which the Police obtained evidence of these men and women being drug 'pushers'. It was by a method of entrapment. My friend, in jail, told me about how it happened. An undercover woman, sweating, looking homeless, expressing all the signs of withdrawal symptoms approached the addicts on London Road. She then begged for heroin, as would an addict and asked for a 'ten bag'. The friend in question then, knowing somebody who could get some for her, feeling sorry for her in her state, obtained from somebody else a 'ten bag', for which he took no money whatsoever. The undercover woman, who had taken a 'blocker' then took the heroin. He was later arrested.
3. This is entrapment by the police, though not illegal here, illegal in the USA. It is a very dishonest and corrupt way of obtaining evidence and these addicts, who of course either have some drugs in their possession on them, or know a friend who will have some, responded to the 'need' of the undercover policewoman, because they know what it is like to suffer withdrawal symptoms. That is why the police method of obtaining evidence was corrupt.
4. In the article you mentioned a raid and arrest of three people in a 'crack-den.' Again, this was mis-reported. Having spoken with one of the men who was arrested, the police raided the wrong flat. The 'crack den' was next door and had nothing to do with the people living in the flat that was raided. The person who lives in the flat in which they discovered the drugs is, apparently, still at large. The couple who lived in the flat which was not a crack den, then got made homeless and had to sleep on the street in the freezing cold in February. They now live in a room in a hostel near the Marina.
My suggestion is that you interview both some of the prisoners who were victims of police entrapment, in a bid to 'get rid of' drug addicts in Brighton and bang them up in jail, and that you interview the innocent man and his friend who had their names dragged through the mud in the Argus and were publicly held responsible for the drugs problems in London Road. They are poor, but if they had money, they would be apt to sue your newspaper for malicious slander or defamation. I have blogged an article on this which you may view at
I look forward to hearing your response soon.