County Lines op results in £240k of drugs seized and 20 arrests
Last week saw officers from across Humberside Police come together to partake in a national week of intensification against County Lines, aiming to protect vulnerable young people from becoming involved in the drug trade and take those at the helm of travelling drug operations off the streets.
The week resulted in a total of 20 people arrested for various drug supply related offences, five warrants executed, 29 vulnerable people identified or engaged with were safeguarded or signposted to partner agencies for support, almost £240,000 worth of drugs being taken off the streets and £9,500 cash recovered.
As part of the week, that ran from Monday 14 September to Sunday 20 September, joint days of action were set up with British Transport Police at transport hubs across the force area, enforcement action with Operation Galaxy and the Roads Crime Team plus high visibility patrolling in County Lines hotspots, safeguarding of victims and awareness raising activity by the neighbourhood officers out on the streets.
Detective Chief Inspector Iain Pottage said: “County Lines is a key priority for the force, and intensification weeks like these allow us to educate the wider public on the signs to look out for, protect those who may have become victims of child criminal exploitation, signpost those at risk of becoming victims to support services and put pressure on these gangs by disrupting their activity.
“We have undertaken days of action at local transport hubs, often used by County Lines gangs to bring drugs in and out of the force area, executed warrants at properties known to be drug dealing or drug production hubs, safeguarded victims of cuckooing, pursued suspicious vehicles and visited schools, shops, transport companies and local residents to educate them on the signs of County Lines.
“The week has seen a 100% increase in intelligence being submitted to us to review and build upon.
“I can only thank the public for their support of this operation. Their information has been crucial to the activity we’ve undertaken last week and has been what has led to some of our successful arrests.
“It has not only been a week of going after those believed to be involved in organised crime activity, but acting to prevent further offences from being committed. It is important to us that our communities feel safer now and in the future.”
Just some of the activity has includedan 18-year-old man arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply Class A drugs and a 19-year-old man arrested on suspicion of possession of Class A drugs after it was reported that two men were seen to discard items on Chomley Street, Hull on Wednesday 16 September as officers approached.
The items discovered were a quantity of white wraps thought to be crack cocaine. The pair have been released under investigation whilst we continue our enquiries.
Following a vehicle stop by the Roads Crime Team on Ashby Road, Scunthorpe on Wednesday 16 September, a 25-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of possession of cannabis and failure to appear in court. Carl Townsend of no fixed abode has been charged with possession of cannabis and bailed to appear in Grimsby Magistrates Court on Tuesday 20 October.
An investigation is also continuing in Scunthorpe after a man was arrested on suspicion of money laundering and had almost £1,200 of cash seized.
Undertaking a day of action in Bridlington on Thursday 17 September, officers stopped and searched three men on Haslemere Avenue and arrested them on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of controlled drugs. £860 cash and mobile phones were seized. Upon searching a property on the same street, a man and two women were arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply, with a quantity of suspected Class A drugs, drug paraphernalia and mobile phones seized. All six have been released under investigation.
The Op Galaxy team executed a warrant on Wendover Road, Messingham on Sunday 20 September which led to the discovery of a large cannabis factory with approximately £235k worth of cannabis being recovered as well as £800 in cash. Three men were arrested on suspicion of the cultivation of cannabis and have been released under investigation pending further enquiries.
Police and Crime Commissioner Keith Hunter said: “What we have seen over recent years is that the exploitation of people has become the number one commodity for organised crime groups. The young people recruited by these groups for their trade in drugs are victims first and foremost, and it is vital that we, as adults, learn how to spot the signs of possible exploitation and know how to raise our concerns.
“My office funds the Not In Our Community programme which is an innovative service aimed at raising awareness of these issues, particularly through the recent ‘Alfie’s Story’ video, and I would urge everyone to be aware of the signs of exploitation to protect our young people and help them to recognise what is happening, and be resistant to this kind of lifestyle.”
We would encourage anyone who believes that they are a victim of County Lines to get in touch with us on our non-emergency number 101, always calling 999 in an emergency. Similarly, if you believe someone else has gotten caught up in County Lines activity or you have any information about drug dealing in your area, we would ask that you reach out to us.
However, for those that wish to remain anonymous, independent charity Crimestoppers can be contacted on 0800 555 111.
Gemma Gibbs, Regional Manager for the charity Crimestoppers, said “Our charity is here for those who, for whatever reason, feel unable to speak directly to the police. This is often because of fear of retribution, or because those involved are too close to home. Anyone can give us information about crime over the phone or online, whilst staying 100% anonymous, guaranteed.”
Information about the signs of County Lines and some helpful resources can be found here.
CLICK HERE to watch the 'Alfie's Story' videos and supporting documentary for parents, teachers and carers.
Posted on Friday 25th September 2020