Police step up patrols in response to drug dealing fears
PUBLISHED: 06:04 17 November 2019 | UPDATED: 09:35 17 November 2019
Police patrols are being stepped up in Needham Market in reponse to concerns of drug dealing in the Suffolk town.
Reports of drug activity near the town's railway staion have been made to the police and local councillors in recent weeks.
Some residents fear the activity maybe the result of a "county lines" drugs operation where local people, often youngsters or vulnerable people, are "recruited" by dealers in major cities to sell their drugs.
There have also been posts on social media by parents who have described their fear after seeing young people hanging around the station, as well as the one in Stowmarket in recent weeks.
One parent posted in a local group saying: "Sadly county lines gangs have been active in and around the area. I urge parents to make their children aware of this."
Mike Norris, Mid Suffolk District Councillor for Needham Market said that he had spoken to the locak PCSO after hearing reports of county lines activity.
"We have received reports from residents in Needham Market that there has been some county lines activity near the station," he said.
"We have a really good process where I am told as the district councillor and then I inform the local PCSO who is funded by the district council.
"I know that the police are also believe there maybe some activity amongst the youngsters at in the Crowley Park area and they are going through that area and carrying out checks more regularly now.
"The PCSO has been great. Sadly this is the type of thing happening at the moment and it is something we need to be dealing with." The police also say they are aware and are acting to prevent county lines activity in the area.
Inspepctor Shawn Wakeling, said: "We have received occasional reports about suspected drug activity in Needham Market, and where necessary we respond with appropriate and proportionate action.
"There is no suggestion that any young people from Needham Market have been linked to county lines. We will always take a proactive approach to tackling and disrupting drug dealing and the issues associated with it.
"We always welcome information from members of the community in relation to drug activity - if you know of suspicious activity phone police on 101 and we will respond, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111."