Scrap Tunstall phone box 'used by drug dealers'
POLICE want to remove a BT phone box – because it is being used for drug-dealing.
The doorless kiosk in McKinley Street, Tunstall, has plagued neighbours for more than 10 years.
They have had to put up with drug dealing, vandalism and groups of teenagers hanging around the BT box.
Now Staffordshire Police have told residents they are looking at ways of removing the box.
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PC Adam Edwards said: “There have been problems with drug dealing in the phone box and it is close to some old people’s houses which has caused concern.
"I am now looking at whether we can get the box removed as I am not convinced that it is being used for its proper purpose."
Resident May Baskeyfield first complained to BT about the phone box 10 years ago and has also contacted Stoke-on-Trent North MP Joan Walley to take up her fight.
The 87-year-old retired pottery worker, who has lived in McKinley Street since 1976, said: "I have been having an issue with the box for years.
"Every other day it was being smashed up and there was glass left everywhere.
"I complained to the phone company and they sent a man to have a look at it.
"But he said it could stay because it wasn't detrimental to me or my house.
"That was 10 years ago and I am still waiting for action. I think once the phone box is taken out it will alleviate the problem because people can't hide in there and get up to no good.
"When I go out to them they always have a mobile phone in their hand so it’s not as if they are even using the booth for its proper purpose.
"It is scary to go out on my own to try to stop the problems but I still do it."
Megan Ryan, of Tunstall, said: "There has always been a lot of drug dealing going on at the phone box and I know that the police are keeping an eye on it. It has been a problem for many years and the residents have had a very hard time with it.
"The kiosk is usually being smashed up and it has been known to attract drug dealers.
"I think taking it out could be a solution and the residents would be delighted to see it go."
BT officials today said they had not received any recent complaints about the telephone kiosk.
But a spokesman added: "If the police were to contact us we would of course work with them and discuss the options available."