BT Digital Kiosks Halted by Police
Councils and police halt installation of BT digital kiosks following claims they are being exploited by drug dealers.
21:37 11 September 2018
The police has advised the London Borough of Tower Hamlets to not allow BT to install additional digital kiosks after it was found that they are used by drug dealers for their illegal activities, an engineering and technology trade magazine has claimed.
E&T magazine reported that BT was seeking permit to install additional 100 InLink phone kiosks in the city following a pilot in Camden, north west London last year. The touchscreens, which are funded through advertising on built-in displays, are intended to replace 1,000 traditional phones and offer free calls, WiFi and phone charging services.
A Tower Hamlet Council official said that of 80 people who used an InLink free telephone service in one day, 72 of them have done so to buy drugs. There are also reports that a gang of drug dealers in Whitechapel operated five dedicated sales lines for addicts, who often called from the kiosks. The said gang reportedly sold £1.28million worth of drugs from callers from one kiosks.
A BT spokeswoman said: “Any claims about the InLinks and antisocial behaviour are isolated to a handful of units within the borough and we take such reports very seriously. Despite the lack of evidence, we’ve therefore taken the precautionary measure of temporarily restricting calls in the evening on some InLinks in the area.
“We are committed to an ongoing dialogue with the council, police and the wider community to ensure that the InLinks continue to bring a wide range of important benefits to the public.”