It is a Matter of Priority – eighth week of action and drug harm is back in the spotlight
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It is the eighth week of Northamptonshire Police’s #MatterOfPriority 2023 campaign and once again the Force will be focusing on raising awareness of child exploitation, county lines and street gangs.
Detective Chief Inspector Steve Watkins will lead on the third, and final seven days of activity, which will highlight the impact drug harm has on the younger members of our communities, with special emphasis on preventative work in schools and taking proactive enforcement activity on drug lines, and dealers across the county.
Building on the work carried out in secondary schools across the north and east of the county, officers from the West Local Policing Area will be delivering workshops on county lines, gangs and child exploitation in Northampton, Daventry, and South Northamptonshire.
The neighbourhood policing teams will also be taking part in high-visibility patrols as well as parking the Beat Bus and holding drop-in sessions for residents to get advice/information or raise their concerns about drug harm within their communities.
Officers will also be working with partners across the county, including local councils and British Transport Police to raise awareness of vulnerable children being exploited by drug gangs in support of the #LookCloser campaign.
In addition to this, the Force will share details about a Northampton Crown Court initiative which has seen more than £45,000 donated to various charities across the county under the Misuse of Drugs Act.
DCI Watkins said: “This is our third, and final week targeting drug harm across the county and over the next seven days, our activities will build on the success of the two previous weeks of action.
“The harm which comes from the use and the sale of drugs ripples far and wide into our communities. It is the currency which funds serious organised crime and is the driving force behind neighbourhood crimes such as burglary, robbery, and serious violence.
“Our children can become ensnared by drug gangs to carry the risk for them and further their illegal business model.
“Drug harm is a matter of priority for the Force, and working with the community we can, and we will, beat the gangs and reduce the impact it has on the neighbourhoods that we live in. The action taken so far, and the months to come, will help drive the gangs out from where we live and make our towns more resilient, preventing them from establishing a foothold.”
As with all our work, officers are reliant on the public reporting any concerns they have to us. If you have concerns about drug dealing, or someone becoming drawn into gang culture, please call us on 101, or use our online form.
You can also pass any concerns on to Crimestoppers anonymously via 0800 555 111 or online at Crimestoppers-uk.org or Fearless.org – which enables young people aged 11-17 years old to pass on information about crime anonymously.