Charity urging north-east schoolchildren to report drug dealing

Schoolchildren in the north-east are being urged to report drug dealing as part of a new scheme.

Crimestoppers, the charity that allows people to report crime anonymously, is sending staff into Aberdeenshire secondary schools to talk about ‘county lines’ crime.

This is when drug gangs based in cities such as Liverpool and London send people to new areas, such as the north-east, to sell drugs on their behalf.

Police launched a major crackdown on county lines dealing last October.

They raided 34 properties in Peterhead and Fraserburgh and charged 53 people.

Three of those arrested were children aged 16 and 17 who had been forced to travel from parts of England to deliver and sell drugs. They have now been returned home and are being looked after.

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Police and Crimestoppers believe pupils could hold valuable information about pals caught up in county lines dealing – and reporting it could save them.

A Crimestoppers spokesman said: “We will be visiting Aberdeenshire secondary schools to provide information on county lines, empowering young people to report concerns 100% anonymously via the website, which is aimed at young people and encourages them to report incidents anonymously.”

Crimestoppers Scotland manager Angela Parker said: “County lines isn’t necessarily a term people are familiar with, but as a charity it’s important we raise awareness of this issue and help tackle it.

“We’re saying to children: ‘When you contact us we won’t judge or ask any personal details. All we want to know is what you know.’”