How Airbnb Owners Help Bring Down Drug Gangs in Cornwall and Devon | New
Devon and Cornwall Police work with hosts to tackle county lines
Last updated 9 hours ago
Police are trying to stop criminal gangs from exploiting the growing number of Airbnbs in Devon and Cornwall, after some were used in drug rings.
This week, as part of our #LookCloser survey, we’re taking a look at the impact of County Lines drug gangs and what is being done to stop them locally.
Devon and Cornwall Police believe there are currently 20 operations in the force area and they are working with Airbnb hosts to help them spot the warning signs.
Earlier this year, a couple were jailed for organizing a drug network through Torquay, Plymouth and Penzance.
The court heard they spent £ 3,000 on Airbnb stays in West County over a period of four months, often ransacking the places they were staying.
The police have long worked with hotels and B&Bs to encourage staff to report suspicions to County Lines, often leading to vital information.
They also work with Children’s society raise awareness of criminal activity.
Tryst Fentem, a problem solving specialist with Devon & Cornwall Police said: “The scale of the company (Airbnb) is huge and that’s not a bad thing because what it means to us and our message is the reach of our message; the reach of this campaign is important.
“We do not think that it will stop only with the host, the host will also talk to his neighbor, to his friends about this campaign material.”
Children as young as SEVEN exploited by drug gangs
15-20 County Lines drug gangs operating across Cornwall and Devon
Take a closer look: will you know if your child was being treated by a drug gang?