Why are Scottish media not reporting on ENGLISH gangs terrorising Scotland’s rural communities?

In the Daily Record on Friday 11 October 2019:

‘Police Scotland have warned residents in a Scottish region to be aware of English people who suddenly appear in their communities. The warning comes as Perth and Kinross cops revealed English criminal gangs are flooding the area with drugs. Fears have been raised that young and vulnerable people could be targeted by so-called ‘county lines’ syndicates who are transporting narcotics from the area to the Highlands and Islands.’


I can see no sign of the story anywhere other than in the Daily Record. BBC Scotland, you can see below have used their editorial judgement to lead off with a French murder suspect who has committed no crimes in Scotland and who then turns out to be an innocent:

I was alerted to the Daily Record story by a reddit post:

At first glance, I though the original poster had attracted the warning for racism just for suggesting that the gangs were English as you might for saying that the Bradford and Rotherham sex gangs were Asian, but a response, which we cannot now see, did that.

This is not a new phenomenon though that wouldn’t excuse our MSM for not being up-to-date. In February 2019, the Sunday Post, alone covered an earlier Police Scotland warning:

PEOPLE living in rural communities around Scotland are being targeted by ruthless “county lines” gangsters who want to take over their home to sell drugs. The criminals from the north of England use threats and violence to force vulnerable people in countryside towns and villages into helping them sell drugs.

Threats, violence and death as County Lines drugs gangs seize homes in towns and villages across rural Scotland

Police Scotland reported the problem in January, triggering presumably, the Sunday Post piece, but no others (!) and announced an initiative by Crimestoppers:

The charity Crimestoppers is today 14th January 2019 launching a campaign to highlight the pain and suffering that criminals from English cities are inflicting on vulnerable people in Scotland’s rural and coastal towns.


At the time, I invited BBC Scotland to get on this:

‘Come on BBC Scotland Disclosure Team! Here’s a real story that doesn’t just involve interviewing auld folk in a hospital ward or in their living rooms about how there aren’t enough nurses or doctors or pan drops or’……..but they haven’t. Indeed no one has.

Why? This story has all the essential features of a newsworthy story. Most journalists are familiar with the seven ‘news values’ held by news media gatekeepers – impact, timeliness, prominence, proximity, bizarreness, conflict, and currency. The French ‘murder’ arrest has few of these.

‘English drug gangs terrorising locals’ has them all so there has to be some other powerful factor causing editors to turn away from it. Does it undermine the argument that we are better together in the UK in quite a visceral thus powerful way?

Published by johnrobertson834

Retired Professor of Media Politics Not-for-profit independent political analysis

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