Police officers in the Pocklington and Market Weighton areas are asking for residents to be extra vigilant about possible drugs offences in the area.
Officers in Pocklington and Wolds Weighton are appealing for further information about the possible supply and possession of drugs following recent reports of children/teenagers in the area being targeted.
The local policing team are currently working hard to gather intelligence in relation to the distribution of drugs across the region.
Police officers in the area will also be conducting their usual high visibility patrols in both towns, covering all the usual hotspots for anti-social behaviour.
Areas include the town centres, peripheral sites such as Pocklington Infants’ School, Maxwell Road, All Saints Church, the tennis club and town car parks.
In Market Weighton the patrols will be conducting regular checks on the High Street and the peripheral areas of Londesborough Road Car Park, Scotts Croft Memorial Park, the town council building area, and the Giant Bradley statue site.
Officers said that any criminal offenders will be challenged robustly, arrested, or reported for summons.
The police team is particularly worried about the situation following reports that the local children are now in debt after receiving drugs and are being used in a number of ways to ‘repay the debt’.
This is a tactic often used by so-called ‘county lines’ gangs.
County lines is a major issue involving drugs, violence, gangs, safeguarding, criminal and sexual exploitation, modern slavery, and missing persons.
Government guidelines said: “County lines is a term used to describe gangs and organised criminal networks involved in exporting illegal drugs into one or more importing areas within the UK, using dedicated mobile phone lines or other form of ‘deal line’.
“They are likely to exploit children and vulnerable adults to move and store the drugs and money and they will often use coercion, intimidation, violence (including sexual violence) and weapons.
“County lines activity and the associated violence, drug dealing and exploitation has a devastating impact on young people, vulnerable adults and local communities.”
A police spokesman said: “The reports are particularly concerning as it appears that not only are the drugs been supplied to these groups but some of these children are now in debt and are being used in a variety of ways in order to ‘repay the debt’.
“We are, therefore, asking for any information and would encourage anyone concerned about such activity to report it on 101 or anonymously on CrimeStoppers 0800 555 111.”