Below is my interview with Radio 5 Live on June 28th 2018 about County Lines following ,Anne Longfield,the Children’s Commissioners report that 32,500 children aged ten-to-15 years old defined themselves as being in a gang.
I have previously raised my concerns in Parliament about vulnerable children being groomed by criminal gangs to sell and supply drugs in county lines operations by criminal gangs.
In December the All Party Parliamentary Group for runaway and missing children and adults heard that 80% of police forces had observed a rise in violent crime that was a result of the expansion of County Lines operations.
30th January 2018
A significant increase in violent crime associated with drug gangs who groom young children has been reported by more than two thirds of police forces.
According to a survey of police forces by Ann Coffey, MP for Stockport, the extreme violence includes murders, rapes, stabbings, kidnappings, a hand severed off with a machete, legs broken and use of boiling water, knives, bats and hammers.
Ms Coffey, who is the chair of the All Party Group for Runaway and Missing Children and Adults, wrote to all 45 police forces in Great Britain asking specifically if violence linked to so-called ‘County Lines’ had increased.
All 45 responded and of those 80% (36 police forces) stated that levels of violence linked to County Lines had increased recently. Others talked more generally about ‘high levels of violence”.
Drugs gangs targeting vulnerable children in Greater Manchester
Ann Coffey MP warned today that vulnerable children in Greater Manchester are being targeted by violent criminal gangs to transport and sell drugs across the country.
Speaking in a House of Commons adjournment debate on ‘County Lines’, Ms Coffey said that children in children’s homes and Pupil Referral Units were being groomed and used by gangs. She urged anyone who suspected this was happening in their community to report it to Greater Manchester Police.