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Drug gangs dangers to be highlighted at meeting

By Sue Austin | Welshpool | Crime | Published:

Residents of the Welshpool area are being encouraged to attend a public meeting to help spot the dangers of organised drug gangs.

Graham Breeze

The free community event will be held on August 1 at 6-30pm at Welshpool Town Hall. It aims to raise awareness of the County Lines drug gangs who are targeting the Welshpool area.

The event is being organised by Powys County Councillors Graham Breeze and Amanda Jenner in conjunction with Dyfed Powys Police and supported by Welshpool Town Council.

“Dyfed Powys Police Force has identified that we have a real problem in Welshpool with drug use and drug gangs moving into the area to target the vulnerable,” said Councillor Breeze.

“The activities are not just confined to the town. Surrounding villages are also being targeted so it is vital that we are all aware of the growing threat and problems affecting the communities we live in.”

The activities of County Lines and cuckooing – when drug dealers take over the homes of vulnerable people to use as a base for drug dealing – will be explained by Dyfed Powys Police officers.

Exploitation

Officers will explain the roles members of the public can play in attacking drug related crime and It is also hoped that officials from substance misuse organisations will be present.

Local community councils, publicans, schools, sports clubs and all other organisations as well as individuals are being encouraged to attend the event.

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Recently Dyfed-Powys Police Commissioner, Dafydd Llywelyn, announced Welshpool was in the front line when it comes to trying to stop ‘County Lines’ gangs entering the area.

County Lines is the term used to explain organised exploitation of vulnerable people by drug gangs to expand their operations from cities to rural areas. It was a topic of discussion at Powys County Council’s economy, residents, communities and governance scrutiny committee.

“Welshpool and Newtown because of their closeness to urban areas like Wrexham, Manchester, Shrewsbury, Telford, is very much at the front line, and the reason why it has seen additional enforcement activity and funding through my office in recent months,” said Mr Llewelyn.

“We don’t want to see these organised crime groups getting a foothold in the Dyfed-Powys force area.

“We don’t want to see the drug related deaths or deaths and violence that comes with it. We have seen murders in North Wales and places not too far away, linked to County Lines.”

Sue Austin

By Sue Austin
Chief Reporter

Chief reporter of the Oswestry/Mid Wales office. Keen to hear your news.

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