12 people have been arrested, cash, weapons and mobile phones have been seized and suspected Class A and Class B drugs have been recovered from across South division, as part of a major national operation to crackdown on County Lines offenders.
South division, which covers the areas of Preston, Chorley, South Ribble and West Lancashire took part in a range of targeted and preventative activity for County Lines Intensification Week.
We also visited and safeguarded 43 vulnerable people, provided educational visits to schools and visited bus stations, train stations and taxi ranks to raise awareness around county lines, delivering messages and leaflets.
County Lines is the transportation of illegal drugs from one area to another, usually by children or vulnerable adults who are coerced into it by criminal gangs.
The following was carried out across the week in South division:
- 5 warrants were conducted.
- 43 people were safeguarded
- 12 people were arrested
- A quantity of drugs was seized, including heroin, cocaine and cannabis
- Cash totalling £7,500 was seized
- 1 weapon was seized
- 9 phones were seized
Some of the activity included:
- A joint operation with British Transport Police at Preston Train Station whereby a man was arrested and 1.5kg of cannabis was seized along with £2,500 in cash.
- A drugs warrant in Ormskirk whereby cocaine worth around £3000 was seized, along with cash and mobile phones. A 21 year old man was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply and money laundering.
- A vehicle stop in Chorley in which cocaine worth around £2000 was seized along with a large amount of cash. A 27 year old man was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply.
Detective Chief Inspector Zoe Russo, said: “Last week’s activity is just a snapshot of the work carried out every day to disrupt those involved in organised crime and tackle County Lines.
“Along with our partners in Health, Education and Children’s Social Services, we will continue this work so that those who are vulnerable to exploitation can be safeguarded appropriately.
“We will relentlessly pursue offenders and put them before the courts to make our streets safer.”
During school visits, our Neighbourhood officers have provided education on how gangs will criminally exploit children and adults and have given advice on signs to look for if somebody is being exploited. Some of these signs include children frequently going missing and then returning home, having more clothes, mobile phones, or cash than usual, receiving excessive text messages or phone calls and disengagement from school.
For more information and how to spot the signs of exploitation, visit County Lines - Spot The Signs | Eyes Open (eyes-open.co.uk)
If you believe that someone may be involved in County Lines or other drugs activity, you can report it to us by calling 101. Alternatively, you can report it via the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or report your concerns anonymously online at Crimestoppers-uk-org. If you think someone is in immediate danger, call 999.