One thousand wraps of Class A drugs, knives, imitation firearms and £20,000 in cash seized as more than 60 are arrested in huge police drugs operation
PUBLISHED: 08:30 26 January 2019 | UPDATED: 09:42 28 January 2019
A 16-year-old youth from Peterborough is among 61 people detained by police forces across the eastern region in a two day county lines drugs campaign that saw knives, cannabis, imitation firearms and £20,000 seized.
In total, 23 homes were searched on Tuesday and Wednesday (January 22 and 23) by more than 200 officers from Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent, Norfolk and Suffolk, supported and co-ordinated by the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU).
Of those arrested, five people, including a 16-year-old boy and a 20-year-old woman, were from Peterborough. The operation was supported by the National Crime Agency and the Metropolitan Police Service.
In total more than 1,000 wraps of Class A drugs were seized, along with amounts of cannabis, a number of knives and imitation firearms, and approximately £20,000 in cash.
Police say their aim was to “disrupt those who run and profit from them.”
Simon Parkes, temporary assistant chief constable for ERSOU, said: “County drugs lines have a significant impact on towns across the eastern region and drive a wide range of criminality.
“This is why we’re working together as police forces and a regional organised crime unit, alongside the National Crime Agency, to disrupt those who run and profit from them and to safeguard those affected.”
County drugs lines is the term used to describe gangs, groups or drug networks that supply drugs from urban to suburban areas across the country, including market and coastal towns, using dedicated mobile phone lines or ‘deal lines’.
ACC Parkes said: “We’re really pleased with the results of this co-ordinated response to an issue which causes serious harm to our communities; this has been the product of months of hard work by officers.
“We have targeted those controlling county lines due to the links with the exploitation of vulnerable people, the pedalling of dangerous and illicit substances, and associated violence.
“The success of these types of operations replies upon communities working with their local police officers, providing information to help identify those dealing the drugs in their area as well as those who are vulnerable and being exploited, so if you do have any concerns in your area please do contact your local force on 101.”