Deeside politician asks police chiefs for more resources to tackle “scourge of drugs” after latest stabbing
Alyn and Deeside AM Carl Sargeant has asked police for more resources to help tackle the “scourge of drugs in our communities”
Mr Sargeant met with North Wales Police Chief Inspector Sharon McCairn on Friday to ask about what was being done to combat drug dealing in Deeside as fears grown within the community the situation is growing of control.
The meeting came just a day after a Merseyside man in his twenties was airlifted to hospital with serious stab wound injuries following an attack on open ground near Bridge Street, Shotton
In May a fatal stabbing took place at Bethel Place in Connah’s Quay, both are thought to be connected to drugs the Assembly Member says.
Mr Sargeant says he is regularly contacted by constituents who witness drugs being openly dealt and even injected in daylight.
He has now written to North Wales Police Chief Constable Mark Polin and Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones asking for more operational support to be allocated to Flintshire to tackle the problem.
“Constituents are telling me how drugs are impacting their lives – seeing dealing on their streets, witnessing people injecting or finding discarded needles near where their children play.
Sadly living in Flintshire we can all see for ourselves the effects drugs are having around us. Of course people using drugs need to be supported to be more responsible, but we really need to clamp down on this problem now.
I understand from my meeting with the Chief Inspector that there is a lot of dedicated police work going on behind the scenes – under-cover operations and surveillance work is ongoing.
What I’d like to see is more resources being deployed to the area to try to tackle this scourge on our communities – particularly in the light of two serious crimes in Deeside in the last few months.”
Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones has made the combatting of organised crime groups (OCG) within the region one of his key priorities, while North Wales Police has seen a number of successes in disrupting crime gangs who peddle drugs across borders and county lines under Operation Scorpion.
County Lines, a term used by police and law enforcement to describe the approach taken by gangs and criminal networks originating from urban areas such as Liverpool and Manchester, they travel to locations like Flintshire and north Wales coastal towns to sell class A drugs.
Gangs are known to target vulnerable people to deliver drugs to customers and this often involves deception, intimidation, violence, debt bondage and/or grooming according to a report by the National Crime Agency.
The so-called county lines operations involve urban dealers expanding their crack and heroin business into small town markets, operating remotely through the use of specific mobile phone numbers.
The gangs then exploit children and vulnerable people as couriers to move drugs and money between the new market and their urban hub.
The model means dealers can peddle class A drugs without having to visit their markets – cutting the risk of being picked up and arrested by local police.
It’s claimed in Merseyside alone there are 83 OCG’s operating beyond it’s borders with North Wales and Cheshire seen as fertile drug dealing grounds.
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