Drug dealers, users and other troublemakers using a street telephone box are making life a misery for residents in a Stockton Street at all hours of the day and night – but BT have refused to remove it.
Roseworth councillors Jim Beall and Barbara Inman asked MP Alex Cunningham to step in and put pressure on BT to remove the phone box in Ryde Road, but the company says it still makes a profit and they are not prepared to do so.
Residents who live in the area, but don’t want to be named in case they get even more trouble, speak of vandalism, people hanging around, drug dealers arriving by car and general disturbance – often into the early hours.
Labour’s Stockton North MP followed up requests from the councillors, and Stockton Borough Council itself, and asked BT to remove the phone box but the company remains adamant it won’t do so.
“I have exchanged a number of messages with BT who do recognise there is a problem there – they even arranged for it to be refurbished after the telephone box was vandalised – but won’t do what residents want,” said Alex.
“They claim to have contacted the police to assist residents but rather than pick up the phone and speak to someone, they simply sent letters to the Roseworth Policing Team at the local police station – and surprise, surprise they’ve had no response.
“BT claim that, despite the vast majority of people having access to their own landline or mobile phone, the telephone box continues to be financially viable and have refused to remove it though did say it would be kept under review.
“I cannot for the life of me understand why they can’t support the community. We’ve tried for months to get them to help and the time is now past for them to put local people out of their misery by removing this telephone box which only they really think it necessary to keep.”