A new report has found that over 180 urban drug-dealing gangs have expanded their activity into rural and coastal towns, pushing out local dealers or targeting the ‘space’ left by law enforcement action.
The National Crime Agency and National Police Chiefs Council warned that groups are recruiting and exploiting local vulnerable adults and children to help them. They said front line awareness needs to increase so these individuals can be better protected.
The NCA’s ‘County Lines’ report shows that around half the places affected are coastal towns with high levels of unemployment, mental health issues or crime. The majority of the rest are more affluent areas with good transport links to major cities.
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