Burnley police appeal for parents' help to identify criminals who are targeting young people to carry and deal drugs

Police have appealed for parents' help to root out criminals who are targeting young people to carry and deal drugs for them.

Officers have vowed to 'come down hard' on those responsible for using the young victims in the Gawthorpe and Hapton areas of Padiham.

The information came to light after officers from the East Exploitation Team, Burnley West Neighbourhood Team and Burnley Task Force carried out two drugs warrants and undertook several disruption visits in those areas. A small quantity of drugs was seized.

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A spokesman for Burnley and Padiham Police said: "This is something that we are going to target heavily over the coming weeks and months and be assured that we are going to come down hard on those responsible.

Police are asking parents and guardians for their help in identifying criminals who are targeting young people to carry and deal drugs for them

"But we are appealing to parents, guardians or young people reading this to contact us with further information which may assist us in the battle against the exploitation of young people."

Police are asking parents and guardians to look out for 'tell tale' signs that their children may be victims of exploitation which include a change in their mood and leaving the house at unsual times more frequently. Other signs include them asking for more money regularly, without reason, or them acquiring cash without an explanation where it has come from.

Other signs include them using more than one phone and receiving unexplained gifts such as jewellery, clothes or technical equipment.

The spokesman added: " The list is not exhaustive, however these are all signs that a young person may be being exploited."

Police have assured anyone who gets in touch with them that every contact will be treated with confidentiality.

Anyone who has information that could help is asked to contact PC 4437 McKee via email on [email protected] or Lancashire In The Know - http://orlo.uk/0srEs.

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You can also ring Lancashire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111