BBC Scotland’s Disclosure team seems happier following the wrong truckload of calves to Spain, interviewing old folk in their homes about a supposed NHS failure or (tonight) women who have been let down by their employers and unions, but have, for more than a year now, been unwilling to tackle a major crime problem affecting children in Scotland. Their equivalents in Wales, England and Northern Ireland have had the courage to investigate white supremacists, jihadis and kneecapping, but they seem unwilling to get off the sofa.
I’ve written recently on the two Police Scotland warnings, in January and October 2019, about English County Lines drug gangs terrorising rural and small-town Scotland. Only the Sunday Post in February and the Daily Record in October reported them. As Scotland’s MSM avoids coverage, it’s clear that a serious problem deriving from our open border with England is growing.
Why are Scottish media not reporting on ENGLISH gangs terrorising Scotland’s rural communities?
I had thought that only the Police Scotland warnings were being ignored by the Scottish MSM but have since stumbled on two more public reports they must have seen.
In August 2019, again unreported, Youthlink Scotland held a conference aimed at developing: ‘the latest guidance and good practice on how to identify, support, and help young and vulnerable victims of criminal exploitation.’
On its own, this has all the marks of newsworthiness – young victims, exploitation. Any half-decent investigative journalists would be salivating but BBC Scotland Disclosure don’t like the look of it.
But then, I see a link in the charity announcement which takes me to a Scottish Government investigation from June 2018 (!). It’s hard to understand why this was not headlined. See these extracts from Community Experiences of Serious Organised Crime in Scotland:
- Evidence from drug market research and policing suggests that the most common route for illicit commodities into Scotland is through the open border with England, with major drug supply routes entering the country by road and rail.
- The profitability of the heroin trade has however led to an increase in SOC groups from England penetrating markets in north and rural Scotland. These groups use road, train, and bus routes to create steady supply routes in these areas, effectively ‘bypassing’ the traditional groups in Scotland’s central belt and directly accessing other markets in rural areas. A police officer noted the regularity of the trade, with ‘young people or low-level patsies acting as couriers’.
- ‘There’s an awful lot of folk coming up from [city in north England] and they’ll target a house, they’ll basically just come into the house and, and they’ll take over the house while they’re dealing their drugs and giving that tenant what they need so they can use their house and that… The best explanation that I’ve heard is [in] our area, there’s not a firm, like, family that’s in control of the drugs. So they’re just coming up and taking advantage of that (Police Officer, National Diffuse).’
- They [OCGs in the local area] are linked to a group in the north [of England] … the group have not come up to supplant the indigenous group as there are no turf wars. Rather they co-operate with drug supply, but also collaborate on some other criminal activities… [they] had a guy living in the area. What the group added was increased capacity in terms of supply and sourcing drugs and increased flexibility in terms of moving drugs north (Police Officer, National Diffuse).