A 12-YEAR-OLD boy was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply a Class A drug in Dorset, according to reports.

The arrest was highlighted as it was revealed that children have been arrested for pushing hard drugs including heroin and crack in almost every corner of the country.

During 2016, at least 30 police forces in England, Wales and Northern Ireland had detained under-16s on suspicion of selling Class A drugs, figures obtained by The Independent showed.

Freedom of Information requests received responses from 35 police forces, 71% of whom had arrested children on suspicion of dealing crack, heroin or cocaine.

Suspects as young as 12 were among those arrested, its report claimed.
According to the data, 22 forces were found to have arrested children under the age of 14 on suspicion of class A drug dealing offences.

Eight of the police services had similarly detained 13-year-olds, it found.
In one recorded example, a 13-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of dealing crack and heroin in Norwich, according to the paper.

Similarly a 12-year-old boy was said to have been arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply a Class A drug in Dorset, but police did not recover any substances.

The revelations came as a parliamentary report said children and teenagers from middle-class families are being groomed to sell drugs by criminal gangs.

It said youngsters from “stable and economically better-off” backgrounds are at risk of being drawn in, coerced and exploited by urban crime networks.

The report from the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Runaway and Missing Children and Adults followed warnings that children are being used in a drug distribution model known as “county lines”.

This typically involves city gangs branching out into county or coastal towns to sell heroin and crack cocaine.

They deploy children and vulnerable people as couriers to move drugs and cash between the new market and their urban hub.