PCC Marc Jones praises Lincolnshire Police for child trafficking convictions
The Police and Crime Commissioner has praised the ground breaking work done by Lincolnshire Police to tackle the growing problem of children forced to deal drugs.
This week (Oct 4) Birmingham man Zakaria Mohammed was jailed for 14 years after admitting running a narcotics supply chain and trafficking two boys, plus a girl, to deal on his behalf in drugs dens in Lincoln.
The case was brought to trial after a joint investigation by Lincolnshire Police and West Midlands Police - the first time in UK legal history that child trafficking convictions have been secured under the Modern Slavery Act as part of a ‘county lines’ operation.
PCC Marc Jones highlighted the fantastic work of the Lincolnshire force in this case when he met Home Office minister Victoria Atkins earlier this week.
“It would be a huge mistake to believe that Lincolnshire’s status as one of the safest counties in the country happens by accident. The dedication of Lincolnshire Police officers in tackling significant crimes such as ‘county lines’ and human trafficking is second to none.
“We would all wish to see more officers on patrol, but rest assured our communities are being protected from evils such as this by small dedicated teams of highly trained professionals. Lincolnshire was the first force in the UK to achieve significant convictions for modern slavery and human trafficking and now yet again we are at the forefront of tackling a major issue. I cannot praise the officers involved highly enough.
“It’s also crucial that those who take drugs casually, who may be upstanding citizens and would never harm others, understand they are directly supporting this criminal behaviour.
“Trafficking, abuse, exploitation and violence are all being supported by people who buy these substances. They are, essentially, funding crime gangs and their despicable activities.”
Lincolnshire Police first became aware of the involvement of a group of males dealing drugs in Lincoln City centre following a spate of serious knife related assaults.
This prompted a period of exhaustive intelligence research to enable officers to conduct a covert surveillance operation, recording over 200 hours of footage, ultimately leading to the arrest.