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West Mercia Police are urging people in the County to look out for the signs of County Lines drug dealing.

Please report any suspicious activity you believe is linked to drug dealing on 101.

2018 12 04 County Lines

Public urged to look out for the signs of county lines drug dealing

West Mercia Police is urging the public to be on the lookout for signs of county lines drug dealing. County lines is a term used to describe gangs transporting drugs from bigger cities into smaller towns. This is a national problem involving drug gangs operating from cities including Birmingham, London, Manchester and Liverpool.

West Mercia Police recently launched its Protect initiative, which aims to tackle and disrupt county lines crime and other forms of serious organised crime.

The force has a number of proactive operations running aimed at disrupting county lines drug dealing and bringing offenders to justice.

Police are urging people to look out for the following signs:

  • Children or young people missing from home or school.
  • Changes in a person's behaviour or emotional wellbeing.
  • Children or young people socialising with unfamiliar people.
  • A person starting to abuse drugs and alcohol.
  • Someone acquiring money they can't account for.
  • Someone buying expensive goods they can't afford.
  • Lone children visiting from outside the area.
  • Someone with multiple phones, tablets or SIM cards.
  • Unknown or suspicious people going into a neighbour's house - especially if that neighbour is vulnerable.

Detectives from West Mercia Police commented that  "We need the public's help; the public are our eyes and ears in the community and it is important they are looking our for the signs of county lines drug dealing and report it to the police.  County lines criminals tend to target youngsters and vulnerable people, getting them to deal drugs. This is why we are asking people to look out for the signs. On their own, each of these signs may not be suspicious but put them together with changes in behaviour it could be a sign of county lines drug dealing.  If you have any suspicions please call the police. Your piece of information, no matter how small, might be the final piece of the jigsaw that means we can take action."

If you have any information that could help police tackle county lines drug crime please call 101. Alternatively, you can also call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 if you wish to remain anonymous, or use their online reporting form https://crimestoppers-uk.org/give-information/forms/give-information-anonymously

You can email the Safer Neighbourhood Team at csca.snt@westmercia.pnn.police.uk , but be aware that this email address should not be used to report an incident that requires an urgent Police answer as it is not monitored 24 hours a day.

Please follow us on Twitter:  @SouthShropCops for updates to this story and others for the area.

Published 04/12/18