Teens are being forced to deal drugs in Glasgow streets against their will as “fake Deliveroo” workers watch out for police, an inspector has warned.
Police inspector Ian Scott told a community meeting that there are concerns about illegal substances being sold in the Bridge Street and Carlton Place areas on the south side of the River Clyde.
He said “it is a fight” as criminals move in and out of buildings used for selling drugs to avoid getting caught. He also warned criminal groups are using fake food delivery drivers to keep a look out.
Speaking at Tuesday’s Southside Central Area Partnership, inspector Scott commented that “fake Deliveroo drivers” act as “spotters” for crime groups. He said drug dealing activity is a “concern” and that “organised groups are behind it”.
Inspector Scott said that there are concerns about young men being forced to deal from premises or on the street, adding: “They are being held against their will for a period of time to deal on behalf of the criminals.”
He confirmed that officers are working with partners to disrupt activities as well as support young people being impacted.
As a consequence of drug-related activity on the riverside, the inspector added, there have been robberies and assaults in Bridge Street and Carlton Place.
Abandoned properties are also being used to deal from, and vulnerable people’s homes are being taken over for the purpose, according to the senior police officer.
He warned how teens as young as 15 from other parts of Scotland have been discovered “being forced to deal on behalf of groups”.
“There are concerns about exploitation,” he added, “And people are suffering at a street level from this.”
He told the meeting that police forces around the UK are tackling county lines criminality, which sees dealers use young or vulnerable people to carry, store and sell drugs.
Southside Central Labour councillor Soryia Siddique has called for the regeneration of Bridge Street and investment at local and national level to help tackle the issues.
Dr Siddique said: “Bridge Street is an area of the city that is in need of regeneration.
“It appears run down, littered and there are also listed derelict buildings and gap sites.
“It requires urgent action and investment from Glasgow City Council and Scottish Government.”
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