Leeds & West Yorkshire

Bradford Boy, 10, had 'aspiration' to be a drug dealer

Bradford city centre Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Bradford Council received an annual update on how vulnerable young people and adults were being protected

A 10-year-old Bradford boy told charity workers he wanted to become a drug dealer when he grew up, it has emerged.

The child was described as having a "worrying" knowledge of Class A drugs, by a charity worker during a presentation to council leaders.

The council's executive was updated on what is being done to tackle exploitation linked to "county lines" drug dealing.

Police said some young people saw drug dealing as a "viable career option"

Providing an update on the YMCA's intervention work, Leona Dinsdale, said: "We have some young people who aspire to be drug dealers.

"We had one young man who had that aspiration - his family were involved in crime and that had normalised it for him.

"He was only 10-years-old and he could tell me about what cannabis was, what cocaine was, what heroin was."

She said he went through an eight-week course and at the end "was able to recognise the importance of hard work and could better negotiate the world around him".

A major focus for Bradford's safeguarding teams is child criminal exploitation, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

This is often linked to "county lines," where dealers use dedicated phone lines to send mass texts to customers and organise networks of couriers, often children and vulnerable adults, to move the drugs from cities to smaller towns.

Supt Alisa Newman, from West Yorkshire Police, told councillors: "Some young people see it as a viable opportunity for employment as a 'street pharmacist'.

"We speak to a lot of young people who know what 'county lines' is, but they don't know how to say no, they don't know how to stop," she said.

Councillor Adrian Farley, portfolio holder for children and families, said was important the council knew what was going on.

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