County lines drugs trade

Drugs gangs 'changed business model' in Shropshire

Drugs gangs have changed their tactics to recruit more local children, the head of safeguarding at Shropshire Council has said.

Sonya Jones said dealers used to send young people from Liverpool to sell their drugs, but that changed in 2016 after a violent clash between two Merseyside gangs in the Meole Brace area of Shrewsbury.

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Since then, any child with a Liverpool accent would probably be stopped by police, she said.

So criminals started grooming Shropshire children to do their dealing, she added.

She also warned all children are at risk of being recruited by the so-called "county lines" gangs.

Criminal cash pumped into police force

Rebecca Curley

Local Democracy Reporter

Cash seized from criminal gangs and drug dealers is to be ploughed back into trying to tackle County Lines problems across Surrey.

Over the last three years Surrey Police has raked in more than £660,000 from confiscation orders and cash seizures.

This is then ploughed back into the force to pay for officers and support staff. It is hoped £50,000 from this year’s haul will help to pay for a County Lines Co-ordinator – someone to tackle the movement and selling of drugs from across county borders, a meeting heard.

Ch Con Gavin Stephens praised the use of the funds – known as POCA funds (Proceeds of Crime Act).

Speaking at Surrey Police and Crime Commissioner’s performance meeting yesterday he said: “We have performed very well in terms of money coming back into the force.”

Liverpool to north Wales: Up close with a county line
The police officers trying to protect teenagers from drug gangs between Liverpool and north Wales.

Drug crime going down in Birmingham

Drug crime has fallen significantly in Birmingham city centre.

Analysis by the BBC of police-recorded crime data has found that recorded drug crime has fallen significantly in city centres like Birmingham but is increasing in smaller towns and villages.

IDT showing how drug crime has increased in smaller places while decreasing in bigger cities