St Albans drug crackdown will target recreational drug users

PUBLISHED: 12:20 20 March 2019 | UPDATED: 12:23 20 March 2019

Chief Inspector Lynda Coates has announced a crackdown on recreational drug use in St Albans.  Picture: Herts police.

Chief Inspector Lynda Coates has announced a crackdown on recreational drug use in St Albans. Picture: Herts police.

Archant

St Albans chief inspector Lynda Coates has announced a crackdown on the use of illegal recreational drug use in the district.

Police are calling on the public’s help to let them know about suspected drug dealing, such as when there are frequent callers at an address at all hours of day and night, and want to reach out to recreational cocaine users.

Chief Insp Coates said: “We have a zero tolerance approach to dealing with drugs in the St Albans district and with your help, we can proactively tackle the supply of illegal drugs and take them off the streets.

“St Albans district is a safe place to live and work but unfortunately, it does attract drug dealers.

“We cannot possibly be in every street 24/7, but we do have information about a number of criminals, who we regularly target, we carry out drugs warrants and make arrests.

“If you are involved in the supply of drugs, don’t sleep easy as it’s only a matter of time before we knock – or take out – your door.”

Police want to remind the public that everyone involved in drugs is contributing to the exploitation of vulnerable people, including children.

County Lines gangs, the name for when drug dealers from criminal networks in urban areas spread into rural areas and smaller towns, recruit children to deal drugs and sometimes develop controlling relationships with them which include violence or child sexual exploitation.

These gangs also take over homes belonging to vulnerable people to develop a drug-dealing base.

Chief Insp Coates said: “Sadly, some professional people mainly aged in their 20s and 30s will recreationally use cocaine.

“While they may think they are not doing any harm, they are contributing to the problem and make no mistake, it is illegal and causing wider issues across society as we manage the impact of those local vulnerable people who are being targeted by criminal gangs.”

“Are you a parent? Are you a teacher? Are you a youth worker? Do you work with young people? Are you seeing a difference in their behaviour? Are you noticing that they are wearing new clothes, or have new gadgets that cannot be accounted for? We need your help to protect them from being exploited and educate them about the devastating consequences of drug addiction.

“For those who need the help of support services, we will work with our partner agencies to help them longer-term to break the cycle.

“This is turn, will help reduce crime as drugs users often commit crime to fuel their habits, including burglary, theft from motor vehicles and shoplifting.”

You can report information online at www.herts.police.uk/Report, call the non-emergency number 101 or, to remain completely anonymous, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or submit details via their untraceable online form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.

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