• Sun. Sep 25th, 2022

109 arrests in week long operation for county lines West midlands

Byscarcity news

Mar 21, 2022
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Last week (7-13 March) West midlands police hit the homes of people suspected of running crack cocaine, heroin and cannabis supply chains from the West Midlands.
 
The police arrested 109 people, seized close to £1-million of drugs, £20,000+ in cash and recovered a number of weapons including a Taser and a crossbow.

Police also seized lots of phones suspected of being used as drugs hotlines. They’ll be examined as we look for evidence to bring down County Lines gangs who exploit children and vulnerable people to move drugs into shire counties and smaller towns.
 
Importantly we also carried out work aimed at protecting children from exploitation and to raise awareness of tactics used by drugs gangs.


 
Officers visited care homes and schools, spoke to staff at hotels and taxi firms so they know the signs to be aware of, and we worked alongside ex-offenders who now work as mentors to discuss their real-life experiences with children and offer advice.

Detective Superintendent Syed Hussain, our lead for County Lines, said: “We know young children are getting drawn into County Lines… we see it all too often. 
 
“During the week we arrested a boy aged 13 who ran from us in Sparkhill. We recovered a kitchen knife which we believe he threw during the chase, and was found on a stolen bike. Intelligence suggests he’s increasingly involved in County Lines activity and selling drugs.
 
“It’s heart-breaking a child that age has already been dragged into such a dangerous drugs scene, one where he’s at risk of serious harm. 
 
“One of our local officers has been in regular contact with his mum after she’d expressed concerns over his behaviour, being secretive, and going out late at night. 
 
“She’s done exactly the right thing in seeking help – and she’s spotted some of the tell-tale signs. We’ll be working with our partners to offer support for her and her son.
 
“That’s why tackling County Lines gangs is so important: they are ruthless and think nothing about exploiting vulnerable people or children to deal drugs on their behalf.”

We seized heroin and crack cocaine worth almost £30,000 hidden inside a washing machine during one warrant in Smethwick (7 March) and on 11 March arrested a 63-year-old man at a house in Tipton where Class A drugs valued at £20,000 were recovered.

And on Friday we teamed up with Leicestershire Police to raid an address in Quinton that we suspect is linked to a County Line running north from the West Midlands. A man aged 19 was arrested on suspicion of drug supply.

We ran operations across the force area involving local officers, response, traffic and bikers, drones, dog unit targeting suspected County Lines dealers, plus patrolled in areas where concerns have been raised over suspected drug abuse. 
 
We also secured court orders to close down several phone numbers linked to drugs supply and sent warning and drug support messages to people who’ve interacted with the lines. 
 
Det Supt Hussain added: “This was a week of joint activity with other forces, partner agencies and charities but rest assured we are targeting County Lines gangs every day of the week.”
 
Nationally, more than 1,400 suspects were arrested and 671 vulnerable people safeguarded during the week of action.

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Police also seized lots of phones suspected of being used as drugs hotlines. They’ll be examined as they look for evidence to bring down County Lines gangs who exploit children and vulnerable people to move drugs into shire counties and smaller towns.
 
Importantly police also carried out work aimed at protecting children from exploitation and to raise awareness of tactics used by drugs gangs.
 
Officers visited care homes and schools, spoke to staff at hotels and taxi firms so they know the signs to be aware of, and we worked alongside ex-offenders who now work as mentors to discuss their real-life experiences with children and offer advice.


 

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