Campaign launched to tackle drug supply in Cumbria

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A campaign to tackle drug supply in Cumbria is being launched today.

Cumbria police has announced the move to protect people from being exploited by crime groups from outside the county.

The force said often drug dealers from Merseyside or the Greater Manchester area set up operations in Cumbria and exploit local people or vulnerable adults to carry and sell drugs across county boundaries to reduce their own risk of detection.

The issue is known as county lines.

The campaign wants to increase awareness of tactics used by drug suppliers and encourage people to share more information on what is going on in their community to disrupt drug supply.

Detective Chief Inspector David Stalker said: "We want the public to be aware of the tactics used by organised crime groups so they can spot the signs and help us disrupt and prosecute those involved in drug supply.

"It is well documented that in Cumbria we often see crime groups from the Merseyside and Manchester areas attempt to set up operations here. We work closely with other police forces and partner agencies to tackle these issues. We also have a proven track record in bringing a stop to these operations and putting offenders in prison."

Vulnerable people are often targeted and intimidated by organised crime groups.

DCI Stalker added: "The knock-on effect of drug supply is a common increase in robbery and acquisitive crime offences such as theft and burglary. This increase is caused by a drug user's need to fund their next fix or repay debts as they have been threatened with violence. Rather than feel isolated we would encourage drug users to seek help in beating their addiction.

"Crime groups can also look to groom young people into their operations by the lure of money and a social status. By maintaining healthy communication with your children you can identify who they are socialising with and whether they may be detrimental to their lives.

"The majority of the Cumbrian public will not want to live in areas where open drugs markets emerge. I can reassure the public that we will continue to gain further intelligence on suppliers and your information can be vital.

"Working together we can clean up communities by putting pressure on those that ruin lives and line their own pockets."

This week's campaign will be supported on Cumbria police's social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.

Anyone with information on the supply of drugs is asked to contact police on 101 or contact Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

For more information on how Cumbria police clean up communities by tackling drug supply visit: www.cumbria.police.uk/Advice-Centre/Personal-Safety/Campaigns/Cleaning-up-communities.aspx.

For further information on drugs visit www.talktofrank.com.

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