After police were called to reports that a teenage boy had been forced into a vehicle in Bedford on Wednesday, (8 September), two men have been charged with a number of offences, including robbery, kidnap and drugs supply.
Bedfordshire Police were called after receiving reports that the teenager had been made to get into the vehicle before being taken to a flat.
After some collaborative work involving different teams from across the force, officers arrested two men. During a property search, more than a kilogram of cannabis was found.
One man, in his 30s, has been charged with two counts of robbery and one count of kidnapping, whilst a second man, who is in his 40s, was charged with robbery, kidnapping and possession with intent to supply Class B drugs.
They have both been remanded in custody pending a future court appearance.
Child criminal exploitation is a big issue in Bedfordshire. Children, some not even in their teens yet, are being targeted by county lines gangs to sell drugs and carry weapons, often travelling across the country to other town and cities.
These children may face extreme violence and intimidation as well as ‘debt bondage’, where gangs will arrange for the young runner to get robbed so they are in the gang’s debt.
Detective Chief Inspector Aaron Kiff, Bedfordshire Police’s tactical lead for imported county lines, said: “To help us drive down county lines and exploitation, we need our residents to continue reporting their concerns and suspicions, and together we can help keep Bedfordshire safe.”
If you see anything suspicious, please report this information via 101 or through the Bedfordshire Police website.
All of this information is fed into police intelligence systems and helps the force build up a picture of organised crime, even if officers do not act on the information straight away.
Alternatively, you can report any information anonymously via Crimestoppers, on 0800 555 111.