Yeovil residents express their thoughts on town murder as they feel it’s linked to county line drug dealers
Residents in the country market town of Yeovil Somerset remain in shock as a murder investigation continues.
Whilst the crime of murder is at high rates in the UK’s major cities, murder in the Somerset country town is something of a rarity.
The murder that took place in the early hours of Saturday morning, residents of the area believe has nothing to do with local people but is linked to a problem the town has with county line drug dealers, although as of yet there is no official word from Avon & Somerset Police.
County lines is a term used in the UK for drug dealers from more major cities such as London & Liverpool where drug dealers cross into different areas of the UK, normally more rural ones, to ply their illegal trade, often using local youth ‘runners’ to distribute, as well as ceasing on vulnerable peoples homes to store their drug supplies.
” If this involved Yeovil people, the word would be around the town by now” said David Watson, as he viewed the crime scene road closure at whats known as Hendford Hill.
” Yeovil is a small community, there are two arrested and one dead, if these were connected Yeovil residents, it would be someone’s brother or father and the word would be out amongst the community” Watson continued.
Also at the scene of the murder ‘road block’ dog walker Hilary Dawson told how she spoke to the policeman stood by the road barriers and told local photographers and reporters: ” I spoke to the policeman this morning as I crossed over towards the police station, I said to him ‘ Drug dealers is it?’ and he just gave a shrug whilst raising his eyebrows, you could tell he knew it was but couldn’t say”
Simon Tuckwell and his brother Mark, tell how they have only just moved to the area for a quieter life than their former home in Stoke On Trent, they said : “Our parents moved the family here just over a year ago, to get away from the activities in Stoke, from the outside the town here appears a quiet idyllic place, lovely local people and plenty of country walks, but take a walk around the town and you will see the other side, druggies everywhere, only this week I took a walk around the church in the town centre and there was a junkie ‘jacking up’ in broad daylight in the church yard – there’s a lot in the local press here about county line drug dealers and it looks to us this murder will be related for sure”
Chief Inspector Sharon Baker, of Yeovil Police recently stated, that the war on drugs cannot be won by arrests alone.
Chief Insp Baker, spoke to councillors recently on December 1, and said: “We cannot arrest our way out of drugs. We have to think wider of that.
” There has been an ongoing issue of County Lines gangs targeting vulnerable people in the community and dealing drugs in public spaces.
“County Lines is a term used to describe gangs and organised criminal networks involved in exporting illegal drugs out of bigger cities into one or more smaller towns in the UK.
“They are using dedicated mobile phone lines or other form of “deal line.” They are likely to exploit children and vulnerable adults to move and store the drugs and money, and they will often use coercion, intimidation, violence and weapons.”
It’s that warning of violence and weapons the local residents in Yeovil Somerset feel is the cause of the towns murder as Hendford resident David Carter explained: ” There’s been instances of violence and weapons up there a few times the last 6 months with the police responding, to me it looks like an extension from that, possibly a ‘turf war’ between dealers?”
Whatever the case, the investigation continues into the murder in the Somerset town not accustomed to the current circumstances.
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