28 Arrests Made in County Lines Week of Action

Officers have made 28 arrests and safeguarded 14 people in a week of activity targeting County Lines drug activity in Staffordshire.

Twenty five men and three women were arrested on suspicion of drugs offences in the week of activity which concluded yesterday (February 7).

Around 3,000 cannabis plants, and almost £5,000 worth of crack cocaine and heroin were confiscated. Officers also seized £3,000 in cash and weapons including a machete, knife and flick knife.

Thirty three cuckooed addresses were visited and eight vulnerable men and six vulnerable woman safeguarded.

Five arrests of people suspected of involvement in a Birmingham to Stafford drugs line were made at an address in Coton Fields, Stafford. Heroin, crack cocaine, weapon and cash were seized.

Three arrests were also made for suspected involvement in a drugs line between Wolverhampton and Burton.

Staffordshire Police worked together with the West Midlands Regional Organised Crime Unit to run the operation across the county from February 1 to 7.

County Lines activity is where groups of young men from an urban area move into smaller towns to distribute crack cocaine or heroin.

The groups use vulnerable young people, often aged 14 to 24, to traffic the drugs after deals are agreed remotely through a mobile or ‘line.’

The young people involved may be coerced into this activity through debt, drugs use, grooming, threats or violence. Typical risk factors for those involved are mental health problems, drug use, debt, being known to the care system, and being prone to missing episodes.

Detective Chief Inspector John Miles, of Staffordshire Police, said: “This has been a successful week and another intensive week of activity focusing on protecting the vulnerable in our communities and dealing with offenders.

“We’re working hard to tackle this challenge by disrupting those who would deal drugs in our communities. It has been a busy week and the highest number of arrests we have made in one of these periods, but the work continues.

“We will continue to arrest and charge those dealing drugs but look to safeguard the young and vulnerable who may be pressured into this type of activity.”

Tony Walley
News & Sport Editor

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