BT promise to monitor Northampton phone that could give free calls to people buying Class A drugs

The internet phone would be installed outside Sol Central.
The internet phone would be installed outside Sol Central.

BT has applied to install an internet phone outside Northampton's Sol Central... and promised that it will stop drug dealers misusing it.

The InLink telephones with high speed WiFi allow members of the public to use the internet or make phone calls for free, subsidised by the council and advertising.

BT has applied to replace its traditional phone kiosk outside Sol Central in Mare Fair with one of the new devices.

But the company has admitted in a council document that they are a magnet for drug addicts as they offer free calls that cannot be traced to a particular person.

As a result, the company has promised to work with police to block any mobile numbers that are used in suspicious patterns.

They hope by doing so they will persuade Northampton Borough Council that the devices will not be abused.

The document details a case study of an InLink in Tower Hamlets where dealers and addicts congregated after using the device to arrange Class A deals.

Although BT offered up evidence to the Metropolitan Police, the force - much like classic US drama series The Wire - allowed the operation to play out until they had enough evidence to round-up a significant number of people. A total of 16 people were convicted in August 2018 and jailed for as much as 50 months.

Northampton Borough Council will determine the application in the next few weeks.