Drug dealers using QR codes stuck on lampposts to sell Cannabis near schools
Brazen drug dealers are using QR codes stuck on lampposts to try and sell cannabis near schools, universities and even police stations, it has emerged.
Dozens of black and gold stickers advertising 'Get your delivery' have been put up around various streets in the cathedral city of Worcester. Each sticker features a QR code and has a picture of a cannabis leaf - but police have warned people not to scan them or click on any links.
Identical stickers have been cropping up in London but drug dealers further afield are now adopting the same technique in a bid to peddle their product. The digital codes are usually used by retailers to direct customers to online stores using a smartphone camera to scan a black-and-white image which takes them to their page.
However, savvy drug dealers are now using the technology to snare new customers with stickers placed on lampposts, bins, phone boxes and other street furniture. Labour councillor Robyn Norfolk, who represents St John's in the city, said: "It is shocking for them to go up near schools. "I have heard of QR codes being used to link to scams, but not drugs. "We have regular complaints about users smoking cannabis across the city. It is concerning." Worcester mum-of-two Faye Roberts, 37, said: "The audacity of it is frightening really.
"I can't believe how openly they are advertising it, just like it's any regular product and even more concerning is them cropping up near schools and parks. "They are targeting our children and that shouldn't be allowed. They need to come down as soon as possible. "Police need to do something. Surely they can be traced via these websites or they were caught on CCTV putting them up."
The QR codes in London reportedly take people to a glossy website featuring cannabis products with false claims of its products being legal. It also invites would-be customers to follow them on the encrypted chat app Telegram, which popular with criminals.
West Mercia Police said the force advises people not to scan the QR code, even if someone is curious about what the code is. Worcester Safer Neighbourhood Inspector Tanya Beckett said: “We have been made aware of stickers being placed on street furniture and bins in some parts of Worcester promoting the sale of Cannabis.
"West Mercia Police is dedicated to tackling drug supply in the community. “I would like to reassure the public that we are now investigating this issue and I advise that people don’t attempt to scan the attached QR code.
“I would urge anyone who has any information about these stickers to contact us.” A spokesperson for Worcester City Council said: “We have reported this matter to the police who are investigating. "Members of our street scene team are now out and about removing the stickers.”