• County Lines

Here we go round the roundabout

It’s all so familiar. The tiny, plastic baggies strewn everywhere. The wads of cash stuffed in every available hidey hole. The relentless, irritating ring of their burner phones- volume as loud as it will go. Our front door opening and closing every other minute. The dealers nonchalant attitude; arrogantly demanding drinks, being ordered to help find the stash they’ve forgotten the location of. Endless insinuating remarks suggesting we’ve stolen drugs or money, which are lost- never stolen.

I’ll tell you exactly how we ended up in this situation; and a very familiar one for me.

We ended up renting a property with a very cagey, sneaky, private dodgy landlord. A landlord who refuses outright to provide a tenancy agreement. Charges more than double the monthly rental value. Harasses us continuously, threatens us with eviction almost on a daily basis; and consequently, left us frantic with worry when we decided to take a 4 night break to the seaside, as to whether we would come home to a property- let alone our possessions. We had good reason to be frantic with anxiety, because our landlord pulled this exact move no less than 2 months ago. The stress and pressure, panic and upset his actions resulted in, caused me to go into full respiratory failure; whereby my heart stopped beating. My poor fiancé had to resuscitate me, and still suffers with the trauma to this day.

The logical conclusion was to ask who we believed, to be a very trustworthy, down to earth friend (I use that word loosely, because we weren’t close friends with him. But we agreed that we trusted him, and didn’t have any other options!)

Upon our arrival home, we were astonished to find out this 60 something, quiet and respectable man was actually a drug dealer- high up in the chain- and had been running his business from our home. Worse, his drug dealing partner had set himself up in our property to use it as his base.

Sadly, previous situations have made my view on life very jaded. So though I was not surprised; I was utterly dismayed. My heart sank and my stomach lurched when mid afternoon became midnight, and both men had made no moves to leave.

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