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£40k of drugs and cash seized in 'county lines' crackdown

£40k of drugs and cash seized in 'county lines' crackdown

Published by Sarah Yeomanat 12:08pm 22nd October 2019. (Updated at 1:05pm 22nd October 2019)

More than £40,000 worth of drugs and cash has been seized by police during a crackdown on suspected 'county lines' dealers in Devon and Cornwall.

Between Monday 7th and Friday 11th October 2019, 28 people were arrested on suspicion of drug-related offences in the Duchy and Devon.

Three weapons were also seized as well as a large quantity of drugs totalling over £40,000.

Approximately 90 safeguarding checks were conducted throughout the force area with 50 individuals being identified as vulnerable. 

As a result, processes have been put in place to protect those at risk.

county lines stats

"Safeguarding vulnerable people is one of our biggest priorities as an organisation.

"This week of coordinated law enforcement activity in Devon & Cornwall was an intensification of our existing work to tackle suspected drug-related crime.

"While I’m extremely pleased with the work carried out this week, our efforts to tackle suspected county lines gangs are ongoing and relentless."

Devon & Cornwall Police Crime and Criminal Justice Command lead, Detective Superintendent Antony Hart

County lines is the name given to suspected urban drug dealers expanding their activities into smaller towns and rural areas, using people, including teenagers from other parts of the country, to come to Devon and Cornwall and supply drugs. 

They will often target vulnerable people and move into their address against their will.

"Suspected organised drug supply through county line networks remains one of the most significant risks we face. 

"Devon & Cornwall Police is taking large scale action to combat this – we have invested over £5.5million in the last three years into new proactive policing teams and in dedicated operations to target these groups.

"I’m delighted to see these efforts are bearing fruit. The police will continue to have my full support in maintaining a force area that is extremely hostile to these alleged dealers."

Alison Hernandez, Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly

If you notice someone is showing signs of county lines involvement, please report your suspicions to the police by calling 101 or by calling Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

county lines 1

How to spot the signs of county lines and what to look out for:

  • A child or young person going missing from school or home or significant changes in emotional well-being?
  • A person meeting unfamiliar adults or a change to their behaviour
  • The use of drugs and alcohol
  • Acquiring money or expensive gifts they can’t account for
  • Lone children from outside of the area
  • Individuals with multiple mobile phones or tablets or ‘SIM cards’
  • Young people with more money, expensive clothing, or accessories than they can account for
  • Unknown or suspicious looking characters coming and going from a neighbour’s house
  • Relationships with controlling or older individuals or associated with gangs
  • Suspicion of self-harm, physical assault or unexplained injuries

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