Officers and specialist staff hold county lines awareness campaign
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Local police community support officers (PCSOs) have assisted members of the force’s Early Intervention and Prevention Unit (EIPU) in delivering an awareness campaign – aimed at raising awareness on so-called county lines criminal activity.
EIPU leaflets were distributed across North Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent - namely Tunstall, Hartshill and Newcastle-under-Lyme – helping to encourage communities to support the safeguarding of vulnerable people within the region.
Various stakeholders including local business, educational facilities, housing and the banking community were consulted through the campaign.
Hannah Thomson, of the EIPU, said: “We’ve thoroughly enjoyed engaging with our local communities and giving them a visible platform to voice their concerns and queries.
“The awareness sessions involved EIPU staff and local PCSOs delivering leaflets through letterboxes and local businesses.
“Residents have come out of their homes to chat with us after reading the leaflets - along with supervisors, teachers and managers from local businesses.”
She added: “This is exactly what we wanted from the sessions. It showed an increased awareness around vulnerability and demonstrated that the local community wanted to look out for one another.
“Organised crime groups continue to exploit vulnerable people in our communities who may not report this abuse - usually through fear of repercussions and violence which is often threatened to them.
“I continue to encourage people to report any suspicious incidents or notable changes in behaviour to police immediately.
“It is vital that we work in liaison with our local communities to protect those who are in desperate need of our help.”