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County Lines crackdown sees police arrest 1,500 suspected drug traffickers, seize £ 3million

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County Lines crackdown sees police arrest 1,500 suspected drug traffickers and seize £ 3million of cash, cocaine and heroin in week-long operation

  • Officers also seized weapons, including zombie knives and samurai swords.
  • Some 1,468 people have been arrested and 2,664 vulnerable people – mostly children – have been hired to be brought to safety by the police
  • Officers focused on county drug gangs, which involve dealers using cell phones to transfer Class A drugs from towns to towns and rural areas.










Police have arrested nearly 1,500 suspected drug traffickers and seized more than £ 3million in cash, cocaine and heroin in a weeklong county crackdown.

Forces in England and Wales also seized weapons, including zombie knives and samurai swords during the operation.

Officers focused on county drug gangs, which involve dealers using cell phones to help transfer Class A drugs from towns to towns and rural areas, between October 11 and October 17.

County lines are run by “line keepers” and young children and vulnerable adults are often treated, coerced or threatened to be used as “runners” to deliver drugs.

Officers focused on county drug gangs, which involve dealers using cell phones to help transfer Class A drugs from towns to towns and rural areas, between October 11 and October 17 (image file)

The practice also regularly leads to violence, and 289 weapons – including 49 firearms and 120 knives – were seized during the week-long police operation.

Weapons discovered also included 12 zombie knives, 22 machetes, eight samurai swords, and four crossbows.

Some 1,468 people were arrested and 2,664 vulnerable people – most of them children – were hired to be brought to safety by the police.

A total of £ 1,254,384 was also seized, along with £ 2million of Class A drugs.

Some 28.8 kg of heroin and 26.8 kg of cocaine were found, and officers visited 894 cuckoo addresses, which are typically households of vulnerable people used to store drugs.

Graham McNulty, head of the National Council of Chiefs of Police (NPCC) for county lines, said the police were doing

Graham McNulty, head of the National Council of Chiefs of Police (NPCC) for county lines, said police were making “significant inroads in dismantling violent county lines”

Graham McNulty, head of the National Council of Chiefs of Police (NPCC) for county lines, said police were making “significant inroads in dismantling violent county lines.”

“The numbers speak for themselves – we stop the heinous criminals who abuse young people and line their pockets in the process,” he said.

“Nearly £ 2,000,000 of Class A drugs and hundreds of guns are now off our streets thanks to the work of officers from top to bottom of the country.”

He praised the work of the Children’s Society charity, which has helped officers identify children involved in the crimes, and urged anyone concerned about a vulnerable person who may be engaged in the counties to contact the police. .

The NPCC said the number of county lines operating in England and Wales increased from 2,000 in 2018 to around 600 lines currently active, thanks to the work of forces in key export areas including Merseyside, the West Midlands and London.

Police can now pursue victimless prosecutions for modern slavery offenses, saving children and vulnerable adults from having to face their exploiters in court.


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