Urban drug dealing gangs are moving into rural towns and coastal communities, where they acquire properties – including housing managed by councils or housing associations – and establish a base.
These gangs use a drug dealing model, known as ‘County Lines’, and generally coerce a vulnerable person, such as drug users, or those with mental or physical health problems, to allow them to use their property as a base. These vulnerable people are then further exploited by the gangs to sell drugs on their behalf.
The signs to spot which may indicate a vulnerable tenant has had their property taken over by a county lines gang are:
- A tenant starts receiving more visitors to their property
- They receive visitors at unusual times of the day or night
- A tenant’s curtains or blinds are almost always shut
- A tenant stops leaving their house
- Suspicious smells coming from the property
- An increase in anti-social behaviour around the property
Report any concerns to Crime Stoppers on 0800 555111