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Police warn drug users in Rutland about children in the supply chain

Middle class cocaine-use is having a detrimental effect on children’s lives, a police inspector has warned.

Insp Darren Richardson says Rutland is a ‘cocaine-using area’, particularly among affluent people who take the drug before going out for a few drinks.

But while those buying cocaine might believe they are in control of their ‘recreational’ use and are unlikely to be harmed by it, Insp Richardson wants them to realise vulnerable children are targeted for use in the drug supply chain.

Cocaine. Picture: iStock
Cocaine. Picture: iStock

He said: “Cocaine is directly linked to the exploitation of children and there are always going to be victims.

“High-risk youngsters are being drafted in to sell and supply the drugs that people are taking in this area.”

He explained that children with existing vulnerabilities, and those who go missing from home, are at risk of being befriended by members of organised crime gangs and used in the operation of the county lines supply model - trafficking drugs away from the major cities and into towns and rural areas.

Insp Darren Richardson
Insp Darren Richardson

“People have the mentality that a few lines of coke is cheaper than a beer,” Insp Richardson added.

“But if cocaine-users think they’re not doing themselves any harm by taking drugs at the weekend, they need to realise it’s not victimless.”

Police are now able to test people for drug use if they are arrested on suspicion of a related crime - such as possession of cocaine, which is a Class A drug.

If that test returns a positive result, they can be referred by police to drug support services, to help break the cycle of offending.

Anyone refusing the saliva test can end up in court, as can those who do not attend the mandatory drug referral appointment.

If you suspect someone of supplying or buying drugs call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111, visit crimestoppers-uk.org or the police website 101 online.

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