In recent years, British Telecom and its affiliates have been replacing the traditional red phone boxes on our streets with InLink kiosks. These phone kiosks give users free short phone calls and several have been installed on Bethnal Green Road alone. Sadly, however it has been obvious to local residents that drug users and dealers have been using these free calls to coordinate deals and drug drops. This has been backed up by police investigative work.
For some time, the Weavers Community Action Group (WCAG), local police and council have been campaigning for British Telecom to stop these free calls and this week we had some good news. InLink has confirmed that, following suggestions from the council and police, from December 6th 2018 it will no longer be possible to make free phone calls to mobile phones from all of the InLinks in Tower Hamlets.
Further information, including a quote from Cllr John Pierce and WCAG’s Jonathan Moberly about this can be found in an article by Engineering and Technology Magazine.
We see this as a positive step towards tackling the issue however, it should be noted that this is only a trial by BT and WCAG’s recent campaign to halt the plan to move the phone box from Hackney Road to Ravenscroft Street has so far been rejected. There is still much to do.