I’m PC Aaron Dagley and I work alongside the local community officers for Ampthill, Flitwick and Woburn, amongst other areas.
Recently we have been working with our communities to try and raise awareness of county lines. County line gangs exploit children in order to get them to sell drugs and carry weapons, where they can be sent across the country travelling by train, bus or taxi.
The term ‘county line’ is the mobile phone used to take the orders of drugs.
Here in Bedfordshire, we have issues with children and young people from London in particular being sent here to sell drugs. Gangs based in the county are also grooming and exploiting young people who live here and sending them off to other areas.
Young people can be exploited anywhere and don’t always look or act vulnerable. Some signs of exploitation are:
- Regularly going missing
- Having expensive items like clothes, cash and trainers
- Lots of different mobile phones
- Relationships with older people
- Unexplained injuries
- Phrases like going country, going cunch, trap house, plugging and bando
- Lots of train and bus tickets
If you are concerned about someone you can report it to us, if it’s an emergency always call 999 otherwise you can call 101 or use our online reporting tool.
If you’re on a train you can text British Transport police on 61016 or remain anonymous by contacting charity Crimestoppers online or call 0800 555 111.
For more advice and information visit the Bedfordshire Against Violence & Exploitation website.
We have also been sharing crime prevention advice on how to keep yourself safe from keyless car theft. This is when thieves steal cars with keyless entry using transmitters and amplifiers to boost the signal of the keys from the perimeter of the house and gain entry to the car.
- Keep keys far away from doors and windows to minimise the chance of a thief being able to find and amplify the keys electronic signal
- Consider purchasing a “Faraday pouch” to keep your car keys in which contain signal-blocking materials that stop your key transmitting its code
- Check your vehicle’s manual or speak to your dealer to find out if your key has this function
- Check to see if your car has a fitted tracking device or if you’re able to install one
- You could also purchase a physical barrier such as a steering wheel lock which will prevent thieves from driving away and could also act as a deterrent
We are still in the midst of a pandemic so please continue to follow government guidance and remember hands, face and space.
PC Aaron Dagley