The missing piece of the jigsaw: Don’t ignore the signs of county lines crime
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A senior detective from Warwickshire Police is urging people not to ignore the signs of county lines crime.
Detective Chief Inspector Neil Reader, head of the Warwickshire Police Offender Management Unit said: “Your information could be the missing piece of the jigsaw.”
‘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.
The force has a number of proactive operations running aimed at disrupting county lines drug dealing and bringing offenders to justice.
DCI Reader added: “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 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.
Anyone with information or concerns about county lines crime or that someone vulnerable is being exploited, please call police on 101. Alternatively, information can be provide anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Posted by Sam Cook, Communications Team Leader