RESIDENTS are being urged to help close down big city drug dealers operating in Warwickshire.
Independent crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers has launched a campaign to spread the message about organised crime gangs from large cities which target smaller towns and rural areas.
An ad van stopped off this week in both Leamington and Stratford – both towns having been the target of county lines operations.
The gangs move into areas for a short time, taking over the home of a vulnerable person, often a drug addict, where they set up a base. They also exploit children and vulnerable adults to move drugs and cash.
Crimestoppers’ county lines spokeswoman Emily van der Lely said: “We know that the term ‘county lines’ might not be widely recognised, which is why we are launching this campaign and asking for your help to support us in tackling this issue.
“We need help to put a stop to this exploitation and the damage that these criminals are inflicting on our communities and those being taken advantage of.
Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe said county lines gangs were a serious problem.
He added: “Identifying, disrupting and ultimately bringing these gangs to justice is something that Warwickshire Police and its partners across the region are working extremely hard to do, but they need the help of the public to pass on information about suspicious activity.”
Anyone with information on county lines gangs can contact Crimestoppers anonymously and safely online at Crimestoppers-uk.org or by calling 0800 555 111.