Oswestry teenagers most at risk of drugs gangs, says detective sergeant
Teenagers in Oswestry being recruited to peddle class A drugs for County Lines drugs gangs are more at risk that anywhere else in the county.
That is according to a leading police officer who continues to work with a number of agencies to clamp down on County Lines gangs operating in the region.
Oswestry has been an area of significant concern for West Mercia Police, and continues to be according to DS Andy Chatting.
He said he is pleased with a number of recent convictions secured on drug dealers, and is waiting for a dozen more to go through the court process in the coming months.
There is still concern though about drug dealers and the targetting of teenagers from Oswestry to operate in the town.
DS Chatting said: "We are quite pleased with the recent prosecutions and we have a few more, possibly a dozen in the pipeline coming up.
"But it is like I've said previously, when one goes something else comes up.
"The cases are right across the county but they are particularly in North Shropshire and Shrewsbury, North Shropshire and Oswestry is a big area we are actively tackling.
"We are very much active out there, but there are more drug dealers than cops and that is the problem.
"In Oswestry there is a very active group of teenagers who have been recruited to deal drugs, and those youngsters are probably more vulnerable than anywhere else in the county.
"It is a target area for us, we are working with the local policing teams all the time."
Two males, 21 and 17, were arrested earlier this week and have since been bailed on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of class A drugs.
DS Chatting admitted intelligence from the public is a big part of their drive to tackle County Lines, particularly information on people travelling to cities such as Liverpool to pick up drugs and bring them to the region.
He appealed for anyone who knows of information surrounding County Lines to get in touch with the force.
He added: "We have arrested two drug dealers this week who had been sent from Liverpool to Shrewsbury and they have been released on bail.
"In Oswestry it is unique because they are recruited locally, whereas other towns people are sent from the cities.
"What we do need is information about people coming into the area, and from Oswestry going to Liverpool to pick up drugs, and bring them down to Liverpool."
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