Multiple arrests and drugs taken off the streets after County Lines operation
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Nottinghamshire Police arrested multiple suspects and took drugs and weapons off the streets during a proactive week of action to tackle drug dealing between neighbouring counties.
As part of a national week of intensification, officers from the force have taken part in coordinated action to disrupt those involved in County Lines drug dealing and protect the vulnerable people they coerce into criminal activity.
County lines is a term used to describe urban gangs supplying drugs to other parts of the UK using dedicated mobile phone lines.
The gangs frequently exploit children or vulnerable adults to move and store drugs - using violence and coercion to force people to deal their drugs.
Throughout the week, between Monday 9 October and Sunday 15 October, eight people were arrested after being linked to County Lines activity in Nottinghamshire.
Officers referred four vulnerable people to safeguarding services and also engaged with hundreds of young people through youth outreach, school visits and cadet training sessions organised to discuss the issue.
More than £8,500 in cash was seized and a Samurai sword and three knives were recovered in raids and searches in Nottingham, Mansfield, Ashfield and other parts of the county.
Officers from the force’s dedicated County Lines and Modern Slavery unit, working alongside multiple other teams, found quantities of cocaine, steroids, ecstasy and more than £20,000 of cannabis during a series of proactive raids.
Teams also recovered luxury goods including designer hand bags, sunglasses and clothing.
Detective Inspector Jamie Bennett, of Nottinghamshire Police, said:
“This is a national issue and we continue to work hard to identify criminal gangs, take out the drug dealing line and bring the offenders to justice.
“The proactive County Lines team works closely with the force’s proactive Operation Reacher and neighbourhood policing teams to tackle the problem throughout the year, but this week of action gives us the opportunity to highlight our ongoing work.
“Criminals working in the County Lines business models cause a significant amount of harm through the exploitation of vulnerable people, often using children to transport and supply Class A drugs.
“These groups also spread misery among the communities in which they operate, and this is why it is a priority for the force to target and disrupt those believed to be involved.
“The arrests and seizures made are really positive developments, and it is testament to the hard work, dedication and teamwork shown by officers.
“We continue to do everything in our power to safeguard our communities and vulnerable young people against organised drug crime and crack down hard on dealers looking to prey on others.”
Nationally, 250 county lines were taken down and 1,613 arrests made during the week.
County Lines Intensification Week, coordinated by the NPCC-led National County Lines Coordination Centre (NCLCC), also saw 103kg of cannabis seized, alongside 40kg of Class A drugs worth more than £1.2 million.
A total of 33 firearms, 377 bladed weapons, and more than £1.2m in cash, as forces made large gains against these gangs and the products that finance their exploitative criminality.
The force continues to respond to intelligence and seek opportunities to disrupt criminal activity linked to county lines.
Anyone who has information regarding drug dealing in their area, is urged to call Nottinghamshire Police on 101, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or dial 999 in an emergency.