North Yorkshire Police appeal to people in Scarborough to help tackle county lines drug dealing

People in Scarborough are being urged to help tackle drug dealers targeting vulnerable people and children.

Thursday, 25th June 2020, 9:39 am

North Yorkshire Police's Detective Chief Inspector Emma Aldred is appealing for people to get in touch if they suspect someone could be involved in country lines drug dealing.

"You can help us by looking beyond the obvious, someone you might associate with anti-social behaviour and troublesome visitors, might just be very scared and exploited," she said.

"Or, on the surface, a young person might appear to be a trouble-maker, but they could be a terrified victim of abuse and be trapped in a violent criminal world that they can’t see any escape from.

Police are appealing for help in tacking county lines drug dealing

"Please report anything you suspect may be linked to the exploitation of children, cuckooing and drug dealing and report them to us, or the independent charity, Crimestoppers.

"No matter how small you might think it is, please report it as every little piece of information helps us piece together a bigger picture."

County lines refers to a form of drug dealing where organised criminals from urban areas like Manchester or Leeds travel to county towns such as Harrogate, York and Scarborough to sell drugs.

They advertise their drugs for sale via text message through a dedicated mobile phone number.

Criminals use violence and intimidation to force children and vulnerable adults to transport, sell and store drugs for them.

"When you talk about drug dealing, people generally think of people who have chosen a particular lifestyle and it’s their own fault," said Det Chf Insp Aldred.

"But in a lot of cases, young and vulnerable people have been coerced into drug dealing and live their lives in fear.

"Or they become addicted due to mental health problems, or traumatic life experiences that have led them to use drugs and involvement in the criminal world associated with them."

Anyone who has concerns can call police via 101 or Crimestopers, where information can be passed on anonymously, on 0800 555111.

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