How County Lines drug gangs abuse children in Brighton Brighton News

A SUPPORT speaker helping vulnerable children escape predatory drug gangs spoke about the city’s crisis.

Brighton and Hove is now number one in the UK for County Lines and the result is a scourge of death and drug exploitation.

This is due, in part, to its proximity to London and its appetite for powerful and profitable drugs such as cocaine.

To help meet this demand, 10-year-old children are recruited on social media by exploitative gangs to possess drugs and weapons.

Some will be locked in a “trap” and forced to take drugs through debt bondage or threats to hurt or kill loved ones.

Officers across the UK have taken on London drug gangs selling in counties including Sussex

Officers across the UK have taken on London drug gangs selling in counties including Sussex

Shadow Youth Justice Minister MP Peter Kyle previously warned the city was enduring a crushing battle against ever-stronger cartels.

Now support worker Chantal Greenfield, 25, talks about the suffering she has seen firsthand as a campaign is launched to get those who buy drugs to understand the consequences.

“The point is, children are being exploited to provide you with a recreational activity,” Ms. Greenfield said.

“People can take drugs because they look satisfied and happy, but no one thinks about what is going on behind the scenes.”

Ms. Greenfield has been working with the YMCA as a project manager for two years

She is at the forefront of efforts to help save children from County Lines gangs.

The term describes the organized criminal networks involved in the export of illicit drugs to parts of the UK.

Officers rushed to property in Saltdean after receiving reports of suspected drug trafficking

Officers rushed to property in Saltdean after receiving reports of suspected drug trafficking

Ms Greenfield said: ‘Children as young as 10 will be part of the grooming process, forced to hang onto drugs at home or on their own.

“Often they are used because they are less likely to be arrested by the police.

“They will also be used to contain the weapons used to move them.

“They can also be held in traps, which are used to store, manage and sell drugs and often young people held at the address will be forced to take drugs and pick up the phone.”

No child is apparently immune from the clutches of gangs, which are turning to inventive methods to lure and trap young people.

Ms Greenfield said: “More often than not it is young people who are vulnerable or looking for safety, money or a safe place.

“Other times it’s the middle-class youth, or the clean-skinned, who are not known to social services.

“They can be approached at school or on social media where gangs can advertise someone who wants to make money or who wants to be part of a community.

“They’ll put an ad on Snapchat, it can literally start from there, and a youngster might think of their small scale once twice, but fear can hold them back.”

Snapchat says measures are in place to tackle criminal activity

Snapchat says measures are in place to tackle criminal activity

Criminal exploitation of children is a type of abuse where children are coerced into committing criminal acts.

At first glance, it may appear that children who are exploited for crime have made a freely given choice.

However, violence, including sexual violence and weapons, will be used to manipulate them to commit crimes.

Children can also be forced into bondage through “debt bondage”.

This happens when a person is forced to work to pay off a debt and is made to work for little or no pay, according to

The value of their work will become greater than the amount of money originally borrowed.

Child victims of these gangs may be referred to Ms. Greenfield’s service by schools or social services. From there, they will analyze the “push and pull factors” in the child’s situation and become a trusted adult with the goal of keeping them away from gangs.

Ms Greenfield said: “It’s about building a relationship and having open and honest conversations.

“The key to that support is watching what they need?” What do they take away from the situation?

“Is it a question of love or of money?” How can we help them and how can we protect them and move forward? ”

A new campaign, WiSE Up To Exploitation, is launched by YMCA DownsLink Group alongside a group of student volunteers from the University of Brighton.

It aims to educate students and the wider community about the criminal exploitation of children and its role in bringing drugs into the pockets of city residents.

It comes after Shadow Youth Justice MP Peter Kyle revealed that “smart” criminals were exploiting the weaknesses of our authorities to target our children.

He explained that the systems are not properly set up to deal with cross-border threats and that middle class people have blasted this growing drug trade by taking “cocaine with friends around the table.”

Peter Kyle, MP for Hove and Portslade

Peter Kyle, MP for Hove and Portslade

Speaking about the new campaign, he said: “Young people across the country are forced to travel long distances, putting themselves in danger of death and held in modern slavery by exploiting drug gangs.

“These gangs keep vulnerable young people in debt bondage, often threatening to hurt or kill loved ones unless the victims do as they say.

“Tackling the criminal exploitation of children is at the heart of my ambitions as MP for Hove and shadow Minister of Labor for Victims and Youth Justice.” This is why I am so happy to support the YMCA WiSE campaign to raise awareness about the criminal exploitation of children in Brighton and Hove.

“We are a prime target for county dealers across the UK – now is the time to fight back.”

To find out what you can do to help or how to spot the signs that someone you know may be exploited, visit and follow @ymcawise on all social media platforms.

Speaking previously, Detective Superintendent Mike Ashcroft said: “Brighton and Hove Police are taking strong action against drug trafficking in the city. We have a number of operations and tactics in place to identify and prosecute offenders. involved in the supply of harmful substances, including our Tactical Enforcement Unit, which is a dedicated targeting response disrupting serious criminal activity.

“It is our daily job to target and prosecute offenders through warrants, patrols, proactive arrests and intelligence gathering.

“Let me be clear by saying that we will not and will not tolerate those who seek to exploit the vulnerable by providing them with drugs. As in many towns near London, County Lines drug traffickers operate in Brighton and we are working closely with partners in the Metropolitan Police to systematically dismantle the lines through our town and cut off supplies.

“These criminals are people who will take advantage of others, sometimes young people and the vulnerable, to sell drugs locally. Victims of this form of exploitation can find themselves trapped in a lifestyle of crime where problems such as knife crime are sometimes linked. These are not issues unique to Brighton and unfortunately they are issues faced by forces across the UK.

“As we make significant progress in tackling issues such as drugs and knife possession in Brighton, this is a complex issue that the police cannot solve on their own. In partnership, we continue to try to reduce demand and support people addicted to these harmful substances. ”

Snapchat says its community guidelines explicitly state that it should not be used for illegal activities, including buying or selling illegal drugs, contraband, counterfeit goods, or illegal weapons.

It also says it prohibits the promotion and use of certain regulated products, as well as the depiction or promotion of criminal activity.

The social media company said its in-app reporting tool allows any Snapchat user to easily “report and report” relevant or inappropriate content that violates our community guidelines.

These will then be passed, he says, to his global trust and security team, which works 24/7 to review reports, remove infringing content and take appropriate additional action, which may include deleting accounts and returning documents to law enforcement.

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This notice was published: 2021-05-06 03:14:00