County gangsters will "stop using children in drug trafficking very quickly" after being placed on the sex offender wing in prison, police said.
In its report, Crest Advisory found that drug dealers were "housed in a separate location for prisoners with sexual beliefs" because of the reputational damage they caused.
The advisory group, which worked closely with the Merseyside and North Wales Police Department on the project, also found that little was reported of sexual abuse and violence in county border cases, particularly among boys.
A Merseyside Police detective told the researchers, "When members of the Organized Crime Group (OCG) are charged with modern child slavery, they step into the wing of the sex offender and are very quick (due to reputational damage) to drop with children, them will drop it completely. & # 39;
The report, published by Crest researchers Joe Caluori, Dr. Molly Corlett and James Stott comes as the authorities apply new laws like the Modern Slavery Act to combat child exploitation.
In 2018, Zakaria Mohammed, of Aston, Birmingham, became the first in the UK to be convicted of violating the Modern Slavery Act after he tricked three children into selling Class A drugs miles from their homes
Money and discarded cigarette butts were found on a table in a dirty apartment where the teenagers lived
In 2018, Zakaria Mohammed, of Aston, Birmingham, became the first person in the UK to be convicted of violating the Modern Slavery Act after tricking three children into selling Class A drugs from dirty apartments a hundred miles from their homes were removed.
The two boys and a girl aged 14 and 15 were transported from Birmingham to Lincoln to work as "expendable workhorses in cuckoo drug dens".
Officials found the teenagers after they were reported missing in a dirty and freezing one-bed apartment with two drug addicts surrounded by used syringes.
The Birmingham Crown Court was told that Mohammed's drug network was bringing in £ 500 a day.
Mohammed was jailed for 14 years after pleading guilty to running the narcotics supply chain and trading two boys and a girl to trade for him.
In 2017, Neil Bozward, who transported heroin and crack cocaine across the Midlands, was convicted, along with three others, of inciting child prostitution, aiding and abetting rape, and two cases of delivery of Class A drugs.
He was given 23 years for child prostitution violations before found dead in his prison cell on the HMP Isle of Wight last year.
In recent years police, politicians, social workers and academics have struggled to combat the borough boundary phenomenon, which refers to young, impressionable and vulnerable children using drugs miles from their homes.
The teenagers, sent to big cities by highly developed gangsters, are often forced to live in filthy trap houses and are regularly involved in violent clashes with other traders sent by rival gangs.
Neil Bozward of Malvern, Worcester, who hauled heroin and crack cocaine across the Midlands, was convicted of instigating child prostitution, aiding and abetting rape and two cases of drug delivery in 2017
Now experts say that in addition to the criminal exploitation of children (CCE), the district boundaries also contain a higher level of sexual abuse or sexual exploitation of children (CSE) than previously thought.
In their report, Crest said: & # 39; The role of CSE in the exploitation of circular lines remains poorly understood. The literature suggests that exploiters use sexual violence to punish, shame and coerce young people.
"The children's society has further argued that" plugging ", in which children carry drugs in their bodies, is" clearly a form of sexual violence ".
County Boundaries: How Big City Gangs Bring Crime to the County
Operations in large cities are looking for new markets outside of their urban centers for their drugs, particularly crack cocaine and heroin.
They expand their networks to the regions and often use a branded mobile number. This often goes hand in hand with exploitation.
Children and vulnerable adults are often manipulated and forced to move and stow the transport. They can be homeless, missing people, addicts, cared for, trapped in poverty, or suffering from mental illness or learning difficulties.
Even the elderly and the physically ill have been targeted, and officials have monitored gang members attending drug rehabilitation to track down potential runners.
First of all, they can be attracted with money, gifts and the prospect of status. However, this can quickly lead to sexual and physical violence.
“Although the literature and our interviews indicate that both girls and boys experience sexual violence within the district boundaries, the CSE cohorts we shared were almost exclusively female.
In contrast, the CCE cohorts were almost exclusively male. This reflects erroneous assumptions about gender and exploitation, as well as erroneous record keeping practices.
& # 39; In our interviews, we've heard the widespread belief that only girls are susceptible to CSE and only boys to CCE.
“This means that girls' traumatic experiences within the county boundaries are not fully recognized – and therefore they are not getting the help they need. This also means that the sexual exploitation of boys is not recognized within the district boundaries. & # 39;
The researchers found that Merseyside is "severely overrepresented" in the market and is responsible for about half as many deals as London, even though only a sixth of the population lives.
Many children who are drawn into district boundaries come from care institutions.
In North Wales, 31 percent of missing incidents reported from care in the past two years, and in Merseyside, 41 percent of incidents (and 18 percent of children) in home care and unregulated care facilities were reported missing.
Crest reported, "However, police are not consistently using circular lines and CCE flags to identify an increased risk that creates a gap between data and operational understanding."
Merseyside Deputy Police Chief Ian Critchley told the Liverpool Echo: “We take note of the results of this report with interest. While we acknowledge that there is still much to be done, at Merseyside Police Department we have worked tirelessly with partner agencies over the past year to significantly improve systems and processes, and to protect vulnerable children and young people.
Merseyside Police Department has many dedicated teams who work with our local authorities and other partners to locate, guard and protect those missing from their homes, including those in regulated and unregulated nursing homes across the area .
“In the past two years, the number of young people who are missing vulnerable has decreased and we will continue to work with all nursing homes, both community and private, and other forces across the country to share information to ensure that children are protected .
& # 39; We have introduced special County Lines flags into our systems to identify children who are vulnerable to exploitation and to work with our partners to prevent them from becoming involved in serious and organized crime.
& # 39; Our Medusa project activities have resulted in us closing more than 100 county borders, making more than 400 arrests and protecting more than 200 people, as well as large amounts of cash, drugs and guns from our streets this year alone have removed.
“It is absolutely essential that everyone caring for vulnerable children and young people understand the red flag of exploitation and report anything or anyone involved to the police.
“Rest assured we will take steps to ensure that those involved in the hunt for vulnerable people and perpetuating the misery the county lines are causing to communities are brought to justice.
ACC Critchley said information on how to identify the signs of children at risk as part of the Force & # 39; s Eyes Open campaign is available here.
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