INDEPENDENT charity Crimestoppers has launched a campaign to highlight the damage done to communities by criminal gangs operating in the West Midlands.
It’s estimated that there are more than 80 serious organised crime groups locally covering Warwickshire, Staffordshire and the West Midlands, Worcestershire, Shropshire, Herefordshire and Telford & Wrekin.
Their activities have a disproportionate effect on young people and women – who are exploited to sell drugs and are often sexually abused or forced into prostitution.
These groups have a reputation for using violence, importing and selling drugs, abusing victims of human trafficking, and intimidating and controlling neighbourhoods.
The Crimestoppers charity will be working with housing providers, hotels, taxi and car leasing companies to look out for potential victims and unusual behaviour.
Regional manager for Crimestoppers, Pauline Hadley, said: “Our charity believes everyone has the right to feel safe, wherever they live. Serious organised crime gangs devastate lives and have a truly negative effect on the communities where they operate.
“If you have information about their activities, please let us know.
“We only take details of suspects and you will remain 100% anonymous. Always.
“Call 0800 555 111 or use our anonymous online form at our website.
“Once you end the call or click send online, you’re done.
“With Crimestoppers, our charity guarantees that you are the only one that will ever know you contacted us. Speak up and help protect your community.”
If you have any information, please contact Crimestoppers charity 100 per cent anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through the non-traceable Anonymous Online Form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.