A HEADTEACHER has warned parents on the dangers of so-called ‘county lines’ drug dealers targeting children in Upton parks.

This type of criminal activity is where dealers take the focus of their selling away from big areas to smaller areas where they can make more money.

Hanley Castle High School headteacher Lindsey Cooke, said: “I’m hugely concerned that young people are being targeting by drug dealers in the parks.

“We’re working with the police and my worry is that parents send their children to parks unsupervised where they are targeted by other young people.

“Students at the school are well informed about keeping themselves safe.

“Children are not old enough to make good choices.”

Mrs Cooke stated there was no issue with drug dealing in the school or immediately outside of the gates.

An email sent to parents on Friday June 28, stated:

“It is our understanding that there are a significant number of “county lines” running into Malvern.

“This means that drugs are now freely available in Malvern parks.

“Due to the saturation of the drugs market in Malvern, one of these county lines has now been extended to the park in Upton- Upon-Severn.

“Young people from Malvern are actively targeting young people in the park in Upton-Upon-Severn, selling both cannabis and Class A drugs.

“There is a particular concern regarding this weekend and a drugs party designed to coincide with the Jazz Festival.

“The police are fully aware of this situation but we would recommend that parents continue to exercise extreme vigilance and that no child is left unsupervised in any of the Malvern and Upton parks.”

In May, the Worcester News reported on seven arrests made by the South Worcester Proactive CID team, targeting ‘county lines’ drug dealers, where criminal gangs set up a drug dealing operation in the county from other cities.

The most common drugs involved are heroin and cocaine, but also MDMA, cannabis, amphetamines and spice.

Gangs sometimes use violence to threaten children and young people when recruiting them.

Weapons such as firearms, knives, bats, acid are sometimes used to make violent threats.

Some of the warnings signs of a child being recruited are withdrawal from activities, receiving more phone calls or text messages than usual and having more money that usual.

West Mercia Police were unavailable for comment.

READ MORE: Worcester News journalists take on Dines Green FC in friendly football match