A boy caught with an unnamed drug in his possession could not be charged as he was only 7 and below the age of legal criminal responsibility in the UK. This made the 7-year-old as the UK’s youngest drug dealer ever recorded.
The child held responsible by West Yorkshire Police could not be charged as he was too young by law to be tried for drug dealing.
Across England and Wales, a poll made by police forces revealed to have 2,380 arrests of under 17-year-olds in as far as 36 constabularies. In just 2018 the number of cases where children were arrested was less than 2,000.
The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Runaway and Missing Children and Adults have in previous years warned that such children who are manipulated and groomed into the criminal business of drug dealing display patterns similar to the patterns of sexual exploitation. Professionals in the past used to perceiver victims of child sexual exploitation to have brought it upon themselves due to their behavior.
Similarly, young people caught distributing drugs are perceived to have consented and seen as an individual solely responsible rather than because such children and young children require safeguarding and to be seen as victims of the malicious gangs that use them, they explained.
It is important to understand says The National Crime Agency (NCA), for gangs who use children as foot soldiers that supply drugs; it’s not only cheap but also disposable. These victims are easily manipulated and can be operated under the noses of the police. It was noted that some gangs have sought children who had clean criminal records besides white British children as they believe them to be less sought after by law enforcement.
Considering this new case UK’s youngest drug dealer and some previous cases tell that children who were recruited into the scene of drug dealing often observe and are presented to the gangs’ use of torture as a way of asserting dominance. These methods included knives, acid, boiling water, and Tasers for weapons
Last year, however, there were 553 youths detained which made the arrest number the highest it had been. Among those arrested was cocaine was found in the possession of a mere 12-year-old. Among the suspected, Five children aged 13 were speculated to be dealing with heroin or cocaine.
The rise of younger people in crime is being linked to County lines gangs who are being blamed for inspiring criminal tendencies in the younger population.
Children often vulnerable and young are used by these aforementioned gangs to carry and deposit drugs. They are also instigated to commit crimes and cross boundaries with local authorities and police officials. These gangs get a hold of vulnerable children by using manipulative techniques including peer pressure to get them to commit crimes.
Parents or caregivers who suspect their children to be using drugs should understand, if a controlled drug is found in the possession of your child, it will be seen as a criminal offense and it will prevent your child from gaining employment in certain places including travel to other countries.
A trend is on the rise and it is very troubling to see as it is ridding young children of the childhood they should have and are instead setting vulnerable young people for a life of crime, says Anastasia De Waal, of children’s charity I Can Be.
This shocking case of the UK’s youngest drug dealer also implies that punishment and penalties for child exploitation should overshadow the pros these gangs illicit for using young kids. Children who are caught doing drug dealing are ofttimes exploited or abused and therefore require protection.