A 22-year-old man was raped by a drug dealer over an unpaid debt on an island controlled by Liverpool drug gangs.
Chief Constable Gary Roberts from the Isle of Man Constabulary has told how drug gangs from Liverpool and Merseyside present the single biggest threat to society on the island. Mr Roberts said the rape of a young man over an unpaid debt was an example of how drug crime had affected life on the island.
The rape of the young man was revealed during a hearing of the Tynwald Court, which is the island’s Parliament. Ms Tanya August-Hanson MLC read out a letter from parents whose life had been affected by drug crime.
READ MORE: The ruthless tactics used by Liverpool gangs to dominate island’s drug trade
Ms August-Hanson said a young man had been sexually assaulted by a drug dealer when he could not pay his debt, she said: “Yes, a 22-year-old boy raped by a 30-year-old man for a debt of less than £ 500. “
The ECHO understands the man who carried out the rape was not charged with an offense due to a lack of cooperation from the victim.
Mr Roberts told the ECHO how this type of violence was a direct result of the drug economy sponsored by Merseyside gangs. He said: “The rape of the young man was typical of the situations that arise in relation to drug debts. And these issues are not exclusive to certain states on the island. Middle class families have experienced some of these issues.”
Mr Roberts explained that established gangs from Merseyside were responsible for setting up drug rings on the island, which often resulted in violence when debts were not paid.
He said: “From a criminal perspective they are very good at what they do. The model is similar but not identical to County Lines. The established gangs from Merseyside will use criminals on the Isle of Man to sell drugs for them.”
The case study read out in the Isle of Man parliament also touched upon the way in which drug crime had affected the whole of society on the island.
Ms August-Hanson, reading from the letter, said: “The impact on parents is dreadful. Anxiety about the youngster and the difficulty in handling the related situations can split couples. Parents often withdraw thousands of pounds of their own savings to pay off a child’s debt.
“Teenagers end up lashing out at siblings and parents through the stress of their situation – in even the nicest of homes. This is not a problem isolated to” poor “areas. It is a poison that flows throughout the Island.”
The letter also explained how drug gangs recruit young people. Ms August-Hanson said: “A dealer will give the child ket or beak to try. They are usually older teenagers or in their early 20’s.
“Some young dealers in the lower levels have perfectly normal jobs in banks, or trades such as joinery or painting and decorating. I use the word child to reflect the naivety and vulnerability of the young person. Once they have tried ket (ketamine) and or coke (cocaine) they will be made to pay for it. As soon as they do not have the cash to pay they are given stock to sell. “
And the same letter explained how the drugs were now becoming more harmful. Ms August-Hanson said: “Do not ever think for a moment” it’s only weed and my teenager will grow out of it “. The weed for sale today has the strength of what used to be called skunk.
“Twenty years ago” weed “contained levels of THC of 1% to 3%. Now the typical range is 15% to 20%. Regular use removes ambition and energy from even the brightest youngsters. Behaviors change. They become withdrawn and secretive. “
Mr Roberts, speaking to the ECHO earlier this week, said that cannabis was a particular problem on the island. He said: “Last year we seized around £ 42,000 worth of this cannabis from a 12-year-old boy.”
Mr Roberts said criminals had managed to exploit some of the historic links between Merseyside and the Isle of Man. He said: “There are long standing, cultural links between both communities. The criminals behind the drug trade have exploited some of these links to get drugs onto our island.”
Mr Roberts said Merseyside’s gangs were some of the most sophisticated in the UK. He said: “They are the best in Britain at this game. I have been in policing for decades and I know that outside London, Merseyside was always the center of the drug trade.
“But fortunately we work very closely with both Merseyside Police and the North West Regional Crime Unit and have their full support. The Isle of Man has always been a super safe place to live and we want to keep it that way.”
The speech referred to in this story was read out on October 28, 2020 in the Tynwald Court.