London’s gang violence, human trafficking and child exploitation could spread to entire UK
London’s armed gangs are branching out of the capital and police are warning of the possibility of a ‘massacre of the middle classes’.
Stern warnings from Children’s Commissioner Anne Longfield that young people from every midsize town could get sucked into drug dealing, including middle-class havens like Cambridge, by ‘county-lines’ where gangs deal drugs away from their own areas. ‘Yardie-style’ gangsters with guns and acid attacks threatening to seize control of trade.
“It is now something of a problem throughout the country and for most towns of substantial sizes. If they have not been targeted already they will be targeted. There are increased instances of middle class children being involved.” explained Mrs Longfield.
Detective Inspector Billy Bremner of Cambridgeshire Police, said: “County lines is a massive scourge on society. It involves human trafficking, child exploitation and grooming.”
Police forces and the justice system are strongly responding to the threat with raids, arrests and convictions.
Surges in crack cocaine use across southern England have brought county lines from London and other cities to move in to meet demand, the Sunday Express shared last Sunday.
According to Detective Inspector Bremner, about 40 per cent of county line dealers travel into his area by train and said: “They are predominantly black males of Somali or Afro-Caribbean origin aged 14 upwards.”
Detective Chief Inspector David Coleman, of Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: “Criminals involved in the sale of class A drugs are ruthless and often commit other serious offences against drug-users, rival dealers or innocent members of the public with knives and other weapons.”