Alex Cunningham Calls for Help Battling Drugs Gangs

Stockton North’s MP, Alex Cunningham has today called for help in identifying young people who are being recruited into drug-related crime and anti-social behaviour. In some areas of Stockton, children as young as 12 and 13 are being recruited by drugs gangs to carry and deliver Class A and B drugs and encouraged to take part in anti-social behaviour with the gangs.  

Following a multi-agency meeting with Cleveland Police, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council Enforcement Team, Thirteen Housing Group and local councillors, Alex raised the issue yesterday in the Commons and asked the Home Office how they are going to help the areas suffering from this kind of criminal activity.  

He stressed that Cleveland has the highest crime rate in the country and the police and council don’t have the resources to fight the gangs effectively nor provide diversionary activities for the young people caught up with the criminals. 

The Minister replied that the Home Office have set up a National Referral Mechanism for young people to help get support where it is needed and pull children away from the influence of the gangs destroying our communities.  

Alex is calling on members of the public to report any suspected case of child exploitation of this nature to the appropriate body. 

Alex Cunningham MP said:  

“The police and other agencies are working hard to combat this kind of organised crime, but their resources do not go far enough without reliable intelligence on who the gangs are using. The children involved will have their futures stolen from them by the criminals hiding behind them unless they can access early help.  

It is vital if you suspect a child, or a young person is being exploited by criminal gangs that you report it quickly. Reports can be made anonymously and confidentially through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, directly to the Police or through my office on 01642 345291.”