Hertfordshire's Police and Crime Commissioner has hit out at the county’s middle-class drug takers over the harm they do to the vulnerable and the exploited.

Commissioner David Lloyd took aim at the group at a meeting of the county council’s community safety and waste management cabinet panel on Monday (February 10).

He had been asked about so-called ‘county lines’, which is the term given to the movement of drugs from city areas such as London, Manchester and Birmingham into more rural counties like Hertfordshire.

And he stressed the importance of ‘calling out’ the impact that those who took drugs had.

“We need to push-back to those middle class people taking drugs who feel there’s no problem taking drugs, that it has no impact,” he said.

“That impact is the impact you see on young people’s lives being ruined – young people being stabbed in the street through gang warfare, young people being sexually assaulted so they will carry drugs.

“We need to be calling it out more – and we can all call it out more.”

Mr Lloyd said it was difficult to determine whether the prevalence of ‘county lines’ was on the increase or not in the county.

But – pointing to those who were exploited – he stressed that all services, including council services, needed to work together.

He said: “It has a huge impact across all of the services we provide and therefore all of us have to work together to provide a solution – whether that’s housing associations or adult care services.

“We all have a role to play in ensuring that these people are supported.”

And while he said the county was in “a good place”, he stressed there was still much to do.

He said: “I think Hertfordshire is in a far better place even than other parts of the country. We are aware of the issues  and working with all agencies to get on top of it.

“We are in a good place, but we cannot be complacent about it. We all have to redouble our efforts  – whether that’s district and boroughs, housing associations, health or police.”