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A primary schoolboy is thought to be Britain's youngest ever crack cocaine dealer.
The child, aged nine, was picked up by cops for possession of the Class A drug with intent to supply, according to the Mirror.
The youngster couldn't be charged because he was under 10, which is the legal age of criminal responsibility in England and Wales.
It's believed the anonymous boy was made to carry the drugs by an older sibling, friend or even a parent.
This boy is said to be among thousands of under-10s that find themselves caught up in serious crime in England and Wales.
In the last five years, there have been nearly 16,000 crime reports that relate to suspects aged nine and younger logged by officers.
The Mirror reports the actual figure of under-10s committing crimes (or, at least being forced to) is likely to be even higher as only 29 out of 43 police forces handed over the requested information.
Junior Smart, who has been hailed for his anti-gang work with the St Giles' Trust and who founded the St Giles' SOS Project, spoke about his disbelief: "When I first started doing this 15 years ago I was shocked by the 10-year-olds on our caseload.
"Now I don't even bat an eyelid. They are getting younger and younger.
"They are used to carry the drugs for a family member or friend. One of the most common things these children say to me is that 'we thought these people cared about us'."
Junior, who is himself a former offender, went on to add: "Since Covid hit, there have been thousands upon thousands of families out of work who weren't entitled to furlough.
"If they see a way of making money they will take that risk. Since the pandemic started, we have seen even more children exploited by drug gangs."
Jo Shiner, Chief Constable of Sussex and National Police Chiefs' Council lead for children, said: "Breaking the cycle of children becoming involved in criminal activity is a key area for all agencies involved."
You can contact ChildLine on 0800 1111 or via childline.org.uk.
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