Businesses warned to look out for signs of 'County Lines'
Businesses in Warwickshire have been urged to be vigilant for signs that criminal gang members are operating 'County Lines' in the county.
The commute of gang members from major cities to nearby small rural urban areas for the purpose of enhancing their profit from drug distribution has come to be known as working County Lines.
This is a national problem involving drug gangs operating from major cities including Birmingham, London, Manchester, Liverpool and Glasgow. County lines criminals target youngsters and vulnerable people, getting them to deal drugs and involve them in further illicit activities.
Although Warwickshire is a safe place to live and is getting better at disrupting county lines gangs operating across the area, there is still a need for businesses and the public to look out for signs of county lines drug dealing and report it to the police.
Businesses are urged to look out for the following signs:
- Changes in someone’s behaviour or wellbeing
- Making unusual purchases or transactions
- Socialising with unfamiliar people
- Having access to money they can’t account for
- Buying expensive goods they may not be able to afford
- Having multiple phones, tablets or SIM cards
Anyone with any suspicions should call the police on 101. Alternatively, information can be provided anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Further information on County Lines is available on the Business Watch website https://www.warwickshirebusinesswatch.co.uk/county-lines/