A DETECTIVE has revealed the challenges faced by police investigating drug crimes in Brighton and Hove

He spoke at an inquest into the death of Andrew Carr, who died from a heroin overdose after collapsing in Regency Square Car Park, Brighton, in November last year.

Coroner Catharine Palmer said: “Like any other big town or city, we have our problems with drugs.

“They are freely available on the streets if you know where to look.

“Heroin, in particular, you can get in the £10 baggies. And it can be mixed in with anything; paracetamol, talcum powder.

“You never know what you are getting.”

In discussions with the detective sergeant present, she confirmed that the drugs were wrapped in tin foil and were so small it was very difficult to see them being exchanged for money.

“It’s a sleight of hand thing,” Ms Palmer said.

The detective sergeant said: “The problem with class A drug dependency is that people buy it because they need to.

“It’s generally purchased then, within minutes, it’s taken.

“I have seen it taken in the open, in front of people, but it’s generally (taken) in toilets and car parks.”

The fast movement of drugs in the city is a problem for police.

The detective said: “Unfortunately there are just not enough police and resources to tackle that problem in its entirety.

“They (those involved in the buying and selling of drugs) know their locations in Brighton and Hove. There are very common places for dealing and taking drugs in the city.”

He later added: “The Regency Square car park (where Andrew collapsed) has long had a reputation for drug use and supply in that particular area.”

The Argus:

He explained how users will be sent a marketing message to their phones when certain products were available.

They will also often pool their money together to afford the drugs, then find a place to take and share them.

“Regular users know where to find dealers,” he said.

Crack cocaine and heroin are often bought together due to their differing effects.

Heroin is an opioid depressant which will slow down the central nervous system.

Cocaine is a stimulant, speeding up this system and increasing neural activity in the brain.

Taking them together creates a “push-pull reaction in the brain”, the National Institute on Drug Abuse website says, providing an “intense rush with a high”.

It warns that this combination can have fatal consequences.