City drug gangs targeted as part of national police operation
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Drug gangs across in the City of London were targeted in a national police operation last week, leading to a county line being taken down and 18 arrests linked to varying drugs and possession of weapons offences.
The County Lines Intensification Week, coordinated by the NPCC-led National County Lines Coordination Centre (NCLCC), featured co-ordinated action from all forces across the country.
Officers across the force took part in various activities throughout the week, including an intelligence-led Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) operation, and neighbourhood and Servator teams also conducted high-visibility patrols at the biggest transport hubs jointly with the British Transport Police.
City of London Police cadets also conducted prevent activities, testing hotels response to allowing young persons to book hotel rooms.
Serious and Organised Crime Team officers conducted warrants at addresses linked to drug supply which also resulted in the seizure of a drugs line and the safeguarding of two children. They also charged one individual with two counts of conspiracy to supply Heroin and Crack.
Across the week, City of London Police officers seized a large quantity of wraps of cocaine, six bags of cannabis as well as other smaller quantities of MDMA and Crystal meth. Also seized was £2025 in cash and a further three children were safeguarded.
Exploitation, coercion, and violence are cornerstones of the county lines trade, and cannabis is used by gangs to trap young people into debt, forcing them to transport their drugs and sell to other children to continue the cycle. By rescuing vulnerable people from the grip of these gangs and helping them into support services such as the Home Office-funded Catch 22, this cycle of violence and abuse is being broken.
Detective Inspector Anne Medlycott from City of London Police said:
“Our message is clear to anyone running county lines in the City of London; we will relentlessly pursue you, take the drugs off of the streets and rescue those exploited.
“Drug dealing destroys lives, and we are committed to tackling the supply of illegal drugs, and the exploitation and violence that is frequently associated with it.”
The intensification week, which ran nationally from Monday 9 October to Sunday 15 October, saw across the UK:
250 county lines taken down
1,613 people arrested
458 weapons seized, including 33 firearms, 377 bladed weapons, three crossbows, 21 batons and 28 knuckle dusters
Over £1.2m worth of Class A & Class B drugs seized
£437,000 worth of crack cocaine, £100,000 worth of heroin, 40kg of cocaine and 103kg of cannabis seized