Children being used as drug runners

The link between a childhood in care and future offending has been highlighted in a new report on drug dealing published today.

More than half of the drug dealers interviewed by researchers from King’s College London had lived in local authority care or secure accommodation.

Most dealers had no educational qualifications and two-thirds had served a prison sentence, their report for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation finds.

They also find that teenagers as young as 14 are increasingly being used as “runners” for drug dealers.

Tiggey May, co-author of the report said: “Preventing young people from entering the drug market need to be tackled at a local level. Youth workers can do highly effective work because young people trust them and can communicate with them.”

Researchers interviewed 68 dealers and 800 residents in four neighbourhoods in England, and more than 120 professionals.

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