GM Police are working to put a stop to criminal gangs grooming children and vulnerable adults to commit crime.
County Lines is a form of criminal exploitation and sees offenders moving children or vulnerable people for the purposes of selling drugs. They could be trafficked around the local area, or taken to areas with no obvious links or connections.
Victims could also be criminally exploited and forced to carry out other crimes such as arson, violent offences, criminal damage, assault or robbery. They could also be forced to store firearms or money.
Offenders groom, threaten, force or trick victims into carrying out their crimes. If the victim doesn’t comply the offender may use violence, or threaten the victim’s family to ensure they get what they want. Gifts may be given to the victim as a reward to keep them on side which leads them to becoming trapped in a spiral of intimidation, fear and debt.
Some signs that a young or vulnerable person could be ‘Trapped’ and need help are:
• Young people going missing / travelling to areas where they have no obvious links or connections
• School absence or missing from school
• Money, clothes or accessories which they are unable to account for
• Receiving an excessive amount of texts and phone calls
• Relationships with controlling / older individuals or groups
• Carrying weapons
• Significant decline in school results / performance
• Self-harm or significant changes in emotional wellbeing
Find out more at: www.programmechallenger.co.uk/Trapped
Anyone with concerns either about themselves or somebody else should contact GMP via the LiveChat facility on the website or 101 in a non-emergency situation.
You can also report details anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Always dial 999 when there is an emergency or an immediate threat to life.