Police recently raided 18 homes in Manor Park and arrested 16 people aged between 17 and 50 on suspicion of supplying crack cocaine.
The scale of the police operation supports the claim made by Public Health England last year that crack cocaine use in Newham is significantly higher than the national average. The report noted that the number of crack cocaine users in Newham increased from 2,590 in 2008/09 to 2,924 in 2015.
Crack cocaine is a type of cocaine that comes in crystal from and is heated and smoked for a brief but intense high. Bought in small quantities it is much more affordable than powdered cocaine, which may account for its popularity in the economically disadvantaged borough of Newham. Maximum penalties for possession are seven years’ imprisonment plus a fine; and for supply, life imprisonment and a fine.
The Public Health England report can be downloaded here.