Updated: Wednesday, 11th December 2019 @ 3:04pm

Legal Eagle: I think I just witnessed a drug deal... what should I do?!

Legal Eagle: I think I just witnessed a drug deal... what should I do?!

People who are caught supplying and producing Class A drugs can be jailed for up to life in prison and punished with an unlimited fine.

Possessing Class A drugs without intent to supply can also land you up to seven years in jail.

But can anything be done if you suspect somebody is dealing drugs or plotting a potential drug deal?

MM have teamed up with Olliers Solicitors, a leading criminal law firm based in Manchester, to find out. 

This week's question came from Andy, who sent in the following email.

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Dear Olliers,

I was at my local and I overheard a person I see there quite a bit planning a drug deal.

I couldn’t help but listen in. They weren’t being as careful as you might expect. But obviously aside from what I overheard, I have no evidence of the actual crime.

So, what can I do about it? Can the police do anything with that little information?

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In the first instance you could try contacting your local police force by calling 101 on the non emergency number and  you will be able to pass on any information to the police which could be passed on to their intelligence division.

The conversation you heard is what criminal lawyers may refer to as hearsay evidence and could only ever become admissible evidence in very specific scenarios.

The information you provide is unlikely in itself to be able to assist the police in doing anything, however, combined with other information the police may already currently hold it may certainly assist in further action.

As an example, the police frequently apply to the Magistrates Court under Section 8 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 for warrants to search individuals properties, often for drugs related items.

A warrant will be granted if there are reasonable grounds for believing that there is material evidence on the premises that is likely to aid a criminal investigation and often these reasonable grounds may come from intelligence the police hold.

You could also contact the charity Crimestoppers either by phone on 0800 555 111 or by their Anonymous Online Form an at https://crimestoppers-uk.org.

They will listen to you about any crime or criminal activity that you have information about and  don’t record any personal details about you. They simply pass on the information you have about criminal activity to the relevant authorities making sure your identity cannot be discovered.

In short the information you provide is extremely unlikely to ever become admissible evidence in court but it may provide a catalyst for further action which could well dismantle criminal activity.

To get your law questions answered by Olliers' Legal Eagle, all you need to do is email your legal question to newsdesk (at) mancunianmatters.co.uk

You can find more about Olliers Solicitors here.

Image courtesy of marc falardeau, with thanks.