You have probably heard of 'County Lines'. This is a form of organised crime whereby gangs, mainly from the UK's big cities and metropolitan areas, use 'burner' mobile phone numbers to extend the distribution of serious Class 'A' drugs into rural and coastal areas, often flooding small towns and villages with drugs like heroin and crack cocaine. The outcomes of this are obvious.
However, one of the most serious aspects is that, for a variety of reasons, the gangs use young people and children to be their 'runners' for the drugs, money and weapons. This means that children as young as eight years old are being immersed in serious violent crime and gang culture.
The direct and indirect harm done to these young people/children, who may initially think that they are embarking on some kind of glamorous adventure, is enormous. Harm is also done to vulnerable adults in these towns and villages, whose houses are taken over and used as operating bases by the gangs. This is known as 'cuckooing'.
This crime has extended into north Nottinghamshire and an increasing volume is being reported by the police. This includes towns like Sutton-in-Ashfield and Ollerton. Below is a link to local newspaper article that describes some of the appalling impact on young people who become involved with this gang crime, or who are forced into doing it.
It is becoming a very serious community threat. If you have any concerns around this organised gang crime that you need to share, then please do not hesitate to talk to someone. That could be the police, or you could talk to use in the first instance.