Organised crime groups exploiting vulnerable children and adults will be met by a 'hostile environment' in South Wales, Police say.
Calling it an 'emerging national issue' South Wales Police says it is cracking down on crime groups looking to extend their drug dealing business.
Working with partner agencies, the force says gangs from urban areas such as London, Liverpool and Birmingham put children and vulnerable adults between themselves and the risk of detection by manipulating them into carrying and selling drugs. ‘Runners’ will be sent across county boundaries to areas like Swansea and Cardiff to deliver and/or sell Class A drugs at the other end of the line.
‘Operation Guardian’ aims to identify the vulnerable people who are potentially coerced and forced into committing crime by the urban gangs, and to put in measures in place that 'protect not punish them'.
Assistant Chief Constable Jon Drake, South Wales Police, said:
Evan Jones, Head of Community Services at St Giles Trust, a charity who is working with South Wales Police to identify and support young people linked to county lines criminality, said:
Assistant Chief Constable Jon Drake adds: