WITHIN the last five years, minors from the Bradford district as young as 13 have been arrested and charged for possession with intent to supply Class A drugs, West Yorkshire Police has revealed.

In a disclosure log released in December after a Freedom of Information request, the force presented data for the number of minors who have been arrested or questioned for offences relating to the supply of controlled drugs, in West Yorkshire.

The data shows the dates of arrests, ranging from October 2014 to September 2019, as well as the ages and locations (based on the person's residential address) of those arrested, and whether or not they were charged.

A total of 84 people aged between 13 and 17 were arrested and questioned by West Yorkshire Police over the period. Of those, 15 were from the Bradford district, a figure that, although it may appear alarming, still ranks favourably in comparison with other districts - numbers from the Leeds district were more than double at 31, while the figure stood at 21 people for Kirklees.

Smaller numbers were from the Calderdale and Wakefield districts, while one person’s location was listed as Manchester and another as Coventry.

Of the 15 minors from the Bradford district arrested in relation to the supply of drugs, 8 were from Keighley: in March 2017 alone, five minors aged between 13 and 17, all from Keighley, were arrested in relation to the supply of both crack and heroin.

Of the five, one was aged 13, one aged 14, one aged 15 and two were aged 17. All of them were charged.

A Crimestoppers spokesperson said: “It’s important that we all look out for young people who may have been coerced into selling drugs. This exploitation can have a profound and negative impact on their lives.

“If you know of someone in this situation, but feel unable to speak directly to police, please call our charity’s Contact Centre on 0800 555 111 or use our anonymous online form at Crimestoppers-uk.org. Together, we can help keep young people safe from harm.”

Keighley ward councillor Abid Hussain expressed concern that minors as young as 13 from his ward have been engaging in the supply of Class A substances.

“It’s disappointing that some youths are getting involved in bad activities. Councillors, parents and police need to work together to keep our children away from these things”, he said.

“We work with organisations and with the police. We are all very active in our efforts to protect the children in our community.”

A West Yorkshire Police spokesperson also responded to the data, saying, “West Yorkshire Police works with partners in the Bradford district to educate young people about the dangers of drugs and their links to serious and organised crime.

"We also work together to tackle the issue of drug supply and will take positive action against anyone involved in the selling of illegal substances. Anyone with concerns their child may be involved is advised to report this to police or the independent charity Crimestoppers, so appropriate action can be taken. More information can be found on the West Yorkshire Police website.”