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22 arrested during county lines week of action

21 Oct 2021

Police in Cambridgeshire have arrested 22 people and seized drugs, cash and weapons as part of a crack down on county lines drug dealing and exploitation.

The national intensification week took place between 11 and 18 October and saw officers execute 12 warrants and intercept vehicles potentially involved in county lines activity.

Four drug dealing lines were also dismantled using funding from the National County Lines Co-Ordination Centre.

County lines is the means of transporting illegal drugs from major cities like London and Birmingham into other areas, like Cambridge and Peterborough. Children and vulnerable adults are often used to transport them, often at great risk to their own safety.

As a result of investigations carried out by Cambridgeshire Police across Cambridge, Peterborough and Wisbech, 17 people were arrested for drugs-related offences and a further five went on to be charged.

Class A drugs including crack cocaine and heroin were seized as well as cannabis, cash and mobile phones. Weapons including knives and a taser torch were also seized.

A number of potential cuckooed addresses, where drug dealers take over the home of a vulnerable person in order to use it as a base for dealing, were also visited.

Throughout the week officers were also speaking to hotel, bank, taxi and bus staff about spotting the signs of people being exploited by county lines. Neighbourhood officers also held talks at local schools to discuss the issue with young people.

Detective Chief Inspector Chris O’Brien, who lead the operation, said: “County lines is not just people dealing drugs across counties. It brings violence, exploitation and anti-social behaviour to our communities.

“It remains one of our policing priorities and we will continue to make Cambridgeshire a hostile environment for those who seek to exploit vulnerable people in order to bring illegal drugs into our county beyond this week of intensification.

“If you have information regarding drug dealing or violent crime, or are worried that someone is being exploited, report it to us.”

Chief Constable Nick Dean added: “This operation has been a tremendous success and I wish to thank all officers, staff, teams and partnership agencies involved. Disruption has occurred with offenders being arrested and exploited, vulnerable people being safeguarded against this criminality, as well as prevention and awareness engagement with local communities.

“Intelligence and information from our communities has been integral in the success of this week’s action and I can reassure communities that this is not just a one off. We have and will continue to target those involved in county lines.”

Further information about county lines and how to report it here.

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