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PC creates YouTube video with young rapper to highlight county lines crime

As part of Warwickshire Police's ongoing Protect campaign to tackle Serious and Organised Crime (SOC), a Bedworth-based police officer has made a YouTube video to highlight the issue of county lines drug dealing.

PC Stephen Croshaw from the Bedworth Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) has worked with local 16-year-old rap artist Anti-Hate (Alan Lloyd) from Nuneaton, to create the video in their spare time.

The video can be viewed here: 

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.

PC Croshaw said: "We are committed to protecting the most vulnerable people in our communities from harm, and tackling serious and organised crime plays a big part in this.

"I've really enjoyed working with Anti-Hate to create the video, and hope it will help to highlight the issue of county lines, and encourage people to look out for the signs of young people being exploited."

Assistant Chief Constable Alex Franklin-Smith said: "I'd like to thank PC Croshaw and Anti-Hate for their efforts in creating this video. Tackling county lines crime is now part of day-to-day business for our force, and it's really pleasing to see our officers engaging with the local community and creating innovative ways to highlight this issue.

"This is a fantastic example of our officers working directly with young people on crime that directly affects them. Using YouTube is a great channel to reach young people and our communities, and I hope this will help raise awareness.

"Over the coming months we will continue to identify and disrupt organised criminality across the county, in order to protect our communities and lead the fight against serious and organised crime."

Signs to spot county lines include:

  • A person starting to abuse drugs and alcohol
  • Changes in a person's behaviour or emotional wellbeing
  • Someone acquiring money they can't account for or buying expensive goods they can't afford
  • Someone with multiple phones, tablets or SIM cards
  • Children or young people going missing from home or school

The video has also been endorsed by the National Crime Agency. County Lines lead and Director of Investigations Nikki Holland said: "Tackling County Lines is a national law enforcement priority. We are working with police forces to tackle this complex problem and to stop the misery that it causes to local communities.

"This video is an excellent way of raising awareness of the signs of County Lines. It encourages people to recognise the signs and report their suspicions. Using videos, such as this one, is vital in our fight against the crime networks preying on our communities."

Organised crime is serious crime planned, coordinated and conducted by people working together on a continuing basis. Their motivation is often, but not always, financial gain.

Offences include drug trafficking, car key burglary, child sex exploitation, human trafficking, money laundering, organised illegal immigration, high value fraud, modern day slavery and cyber crime.

The force's Protect campaign was launched with partner agencies in 2018, aiming to reduce offences and pursue those involved in serious and organised crime. The campaign comprises four key areas of activity:

  • Pursue - prosecuting and disrupting those involved in SOC
  • Prevent - stopping individuals from becoming involved in SOC
  • Protect - increased levels of protection against SOC
  • Prepare - reducing the impact of SOC where it occurs

Issued: 11.40am, Thursday 30 May, HCB, Corporate Communications

Published 30/05/19