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14th Nov, 2019

Police urge Warwickshire residents to look-out for signs of county lines drug crime

POLICE are urging people in Warwickshire to help them in the fight against county lines drug crime.

So-called county lines gangs, from big cities such Birmingham, Liverpool and London – target smaller towns where their faces are not so familiar to police.

The highly-organised city gangs identify drug users or other vulnerable people in target towns and send ‘runners’ to take over their homes – often children as young as 14 – to enable them to deal at street level.

Warwickshire Police has a number of operations running aimed at disrupting county lines drug dealing and bringing gang members to justice.

Det Ch Insp Neil Reader said: “Your information could be the missing piece of the jigsaw.

“The problem of county lines is not one we can solve on our own; the public are our eyes and ears in the community.

“Many of the warrants we execute and the arrests we make are a result of information provided by the public. We act on all the information provided; while we can’t always respond immediately to reports, each piece of information helps us to build up a better intelligence picture and get a better idea of who is offending in our communities.

“Trust your instincts and please don’t ignore the signs.”

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

* Children or young people going missing from home or school.

* Changes in behaviour.

* Children or young people socialising with unfamiliar people.

* Someone starting to abuse drugs and alcohol.

* Someone with 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 people going into a neighbour’s house – especially if they are vulnerable.

Anyone with information or concerns is urged to call police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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