Pirate FM News 3 minute read

Lockdown: Drug dealers posing as key workers in Cornwall and Devon

Lockdown: Drug dealers posing as key workers in Cornwall and Devon

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 6:46am 14th May 2020.

Drugs gangs have been posing as key workers and dealing in supermarket car parks in Cornwall and Devon.

That is the message from police as a campaign urges locals to report any suspicious activity.

Officers say criminals involved in County Lines supplies have been adapting the way they work under the lockdown restrictions.

Since the government restrictions were imposed to stop the spread of Covid-19 drug dealers have changed the way they operate. 

Previously, deal lines were created to take orders for drugs and runners were used to transport and collect payment.  

The restrictions on movement has prohibited these methods, however criminal gangs are now adapting their operations to be able to continue their illegal activity. 

Although, Devon and Cornwall are two of the safest places in the country to live, police are asking local people to stay alert to spot the signs of County Lines - and report them.

What is County Lines?

‘County Lines’ is a term used to describe urban gangs supplying drugs to other parts of the UK via dedicated mobile phone lines.

The gangs are likely to exploit children or vulnerable adults to move and store drugs and will often use coercion.

Police operations to disrupt ‘County Lines’ activity have been running for several years and regularly lead to the prosecution of criminal gangs.

In response to these operations Devon and Cornwall Police have carried out 194 ‘disruptions’ in the past year against 'County Lines' groups.  

This has resulted in the conviction of 21 people (who received sentences totalling over 24 years imprisonment) and the safeguarding of over 250 vulnerable children and adults.

Cornwall and Devon's Police and Crime Commissioner says taking drugs off our streets is a top priority for the force.

“Taking drugs off our street is a priority for all of us. The force is proactive in capturing ‘County Lines’ gangs and over 400 years of jail-time handed down to those that have been caught.

“This proactive work is one of the reasons Devon and Cornwall was recently recognised as the second lowest recorded crime area in the country.

“Let’s stamp out the crimes that are happening in our communities by spotting and reporting them so they can be tackled.

“Let’s save more of our young people and those who are vulnerable by stepping up and not tolerating drug dealing in our communities any longer.”

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

So if you see anything suspicious in your neighbourhood, such as unknown characters or lots of comings and goings from houses, then please report this using the online contact channels: dc.police.uk/contact

Alternatively you can call CrimeStoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or report online: crimestoppers-uk.org

Contact Us

If you would like to submit a query or provide more information on this story please get in touch below.

Please wait...
  • Up to 3 JPG or PNG images, 2MB max size
  • We will always endeavour to credit you when we publish your pictures.
  • By uploading you are agreeing to this non-exclusive reuse, royalty-free, across all Pirate FM platforms, which extends to our partner broadcasters.
  • You retain copyright to all images.
  • If you would like to send us a video, please upload to YouTube or similar and paste the video URL into the message above.
Email Icon

Sign up for exclusive news, competitions and offers.
Proper Local News updates from Pirate FM

Suggested articles

Answering NHS test and trace calls 'is the key' to keeping Cornwall Covid safe

Cornwall News: Officials say it could reduce the chance of a second wave of Covid-19 in the Duchy

Newer articles

Tips in Cornwall are set to reopen from next week

Cornwall News: But you can only visit on certain days... depending on your car's numberplate

Leisure centres in Cornwall could reopen from July

Cornwall News: Plans are being put in place across the Duchy

Older articles

Coronavirus: 103 patients have now been discharged from Treliske

Cornwall News: The hospital is creating more recovery support for patients and their families

Most read

A man's body was found on the A30 at Launceston

Cornwall News: The road between the Pennygillam and Lifton junctions has reopened

A30 reopens following earlier incident

Cornwall News: The road was closed between the Pennygillam and Liftondown junctions