As part of Operation Attitude, which launched yesterday, specially trained officers will act on intelligence about young people and visit their homes to speak to them and their parents, educating them around the dangers of drugs and the risks of getting involved in County Lines gangs - where drug dealers from urban areas exploit vulnerable people – including children – and force them to deal drugs in towns and cities away from home.
Police will work with partner agencies, such as York City Council, to provide further support and any required referrals for the young person and their family.
Inspector Lee Pointon of York Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “Operation Attitude is a new way of tackling drug use in young people, taking an education and support approach in order that we don’t alienate them or their families.
Officers from the force have been working closely with Mike Benson from the charity Changing Lives and have received advice and training to make sure they are fully equipped in order to have conversations with young people and their families.
The operation has also been welcomed by City of York Council. Councillor Denise Craghill, executive member for safer communities, said: “This early help to support young people to make the right choices is so important. Teams from the council are working closely with North Yorkshire Police to ensure this is a correctly and sensitively targeted campaign. By working with their parents as well, I hope it will prevent young people at risk from being exploited by criminals and will help protect their present and future health and wellbeing.”