Police step up Sutton town centre patrols after boys spotted dealing drugs
Police have launched an investigation to identify two boys spotted dealing drugs in Sutton town centre.
Patrols have been stepped up after the youngsters were seen in the Outram Street area shortly after 2.20pm on Wednesday, June 23.
Nottinghamshire Police’s Neighbourhood Sergeant Kate Long said the force was taking a ‘robust approach’ towards tackling drug supply and production in the area.
“Our enquiries are ongoing to identify these boys, to establish the full circumstances and take appropriate action,” she said.
“We’re pursuing a number of lines of enquiry and appealing for anyone who saw any suspicious activity in the area around the time to please get in touch with us.
"We’re also carrying out high-visibility patrols to provide reassurance in support of our ongoing work.”
The investigation comes as police continue to tackle the modern-day issue of county lines, which sees urban gangs supply drugs to other parts of the country using dedicated mobile phone lines.
Gangs are likely to exploit children or vulnerable adults to move and store drugs – often using violence and coercion.
Sgt Long said: “We have a dedicated county lines team which is aware of the issue and working closely with our proactive Operation Reacher and neighbourhood policing teams to tackle this problem, to target those who exploit vulnerable young people to sell drugs and protect young people at risk of criminal exploitation.
"We continue to respond to intelligence, seek opportunities to disrupt criminal activity linked to county lines as well as visiting young people at risk of criminal exploitation but need the public’s help to help us crack down on drug-related crime.”
Sutton Central and New Cross district councillor David Hennigan contacted police and issued a warning about county lines on social media after residents reported seeing children selling Class A drugs in the town.
He said: “The fact that drugs are being allegedly sold by kids in broad daylight in Sutton town centre is hugely worrying.
“We need to work as a community to help identify and catch these young people so they get help and protection and hopefully provide intelligence that leads to the arrest of criminal masterminds behind the exploitation of children.”
Anyone with information should contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
For more information about county lines go to https://www.nottinghamshire.police.uk/advice/county-lines