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New report uncovers how criminal gangs have changed the way they work during the pandemic

Research finds gangs are increasingly using social media to exploit young people into selling or transporting drugs.

The ‘Between the Lines’ report by the National Youth Agency shows how young people are being groomed locally – ‘on their door steps’ – as drug gangs and dealers adapt the way they work to exploit young people across county lines.

The report highlights:

  • There is an increasing trend for gangs to target vulnerable young people in county-towns and rural areas, as well as moving young people across county lines. 
  • This has been supported by increased use and diversification of social media platforms to groom different types of young people in-county and across county lines. 
  • There is a lack of sufficient youth services and support for young people in many of the county towns and rural areas, with a concentration of diversionary projects in the urban cities where gangs operate from. 

Read the full report here