People taking cocaine on a night out in Crawley are ‘ignorant’ of the damage it causes to the community, the town’s police chief has said.
Chief Inspector Rosie Ross said we need to ‘bust myths’ about drug dealing and the harm the cocaine trade causes to vulnerable people in Crawley.
Ch Insp Ross – who serves as district commander for Crawley and Mid Sussex – oversees the fight against county lines drug dealing in the town.
She said: “I am committed to targeting people supplying Class A drugs in this area, making sure they are held to account for their actions, and reducing the significant community harm which is caused.
“Listening to the concerns of the community around issues with drugs and violence in Crawley I have put a number of resources including plain clothes officers in place as a deterrent.
“We have been conducting house warrants on a regular basis where a number of arrests have been made and large quantities of drugs seized.
“We will continue to work hard to reduce the serious violence and harm related to the supply of Class A drugs following some of the incidents seen in the town centre last summer.”
County lines drug dealing in Crawley
County lines is a growing drug dealing tactic in which criminals from big cities move down to coastal towns and take over the homes of vulnerable people.
The term ‘county lines’ stems from the use of a dedicated telephone line used to take orders for drugs.
Asked about the extent of county lines crime in our area, Ch Insp Ross said there is evidence that county lines drug dealing is happening in Crawley.
“I’d be naïve to say this is not a bigger issue than we have evidence of. The number of lines has increased nationally with violence and control used by drug dealing networks continuing, and the exploitation of children and vulnerable adults increasing.
“Children aged between 15 and 17 make up the majority of the vulnerable people involved in county lines, and both girls and boys are groomed and exploited.
“So the work we are doing with key agencies and schools is really important to understand and prevent young people being exploited.”
People ‘ignorant’ of the harm caused by the supply of cocaine
Ch Insp Ross also hit out at people who take cocaine on a night out without considering the harm that drug supply does to our community.
“County lines is an evolving problem, but is very much dependant on demand in the drugs market and many people from all walks of life using cocaine for example are ignorant of the damage they are causing to young people and the wider community.”
She added: “We need to bust myths that being a drug dealer leads to a ‘celebrity lifestyle’ when the reality is that this is unlikely, or at least not without detriment.”
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