Raids to be carried out in week-long crackdown on gangs using children to deal drugs

Police will carry out raids this week in a clampdown on gangs using children and vulnerable adults to deal drugs.

South Yorkshire Police will focus on known or suspected gangs to identify those behind drug dealing networks.

Det Insp Jon Cousins.

Det Insp Jon Cousins.

Officers also want to help those recruited by the gangs and trafficked across the country to deal where they are less well known.

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As part of the crackdown, officers will also spend time in schools advising teachers of the warning signs to look out for if students are embroiled in gangs or at risk.

The operation is aimed at tackling gangs who befriend and groom children before recruiting them as dealers to reduce the risk of those at the top of the chains being caught themselves.

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Det Chief Insp Jon Cousins, overseeing the operation, said raids were planned, homes suspected of being used by gangs as a base for their activities will be visited and cars will be stopped to look for children being trafficked.

DCI Cousins said children involved in drug gang activity might be missing school and could have an unexplained amount of cash.

He said they may start to wear new clothes, have new phones and start mixing with older people.

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Those embroiled in dealing may show signs of injury and may start carrying weapons.

DCI Cousins said: “We are visiting schools to make sure teachers know the signs to look out for and that children know where they can go to get help and support.”

To pass on information call South Yorkshire Police on 101.