21 arrests made and more than 900 drugs packages seized during week of action against county lines drug networks in Southampton
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Officers have arrested 21 people and seized 900 packages of drugs during a week of action against county lines drug dealing networks in Southampton.
From 27 February to 5 March, officers in our Neighbourhoods Policing, Proactive and High Harm Teams carried out warrants at several addresses in the city, stopped and searched people of interest and targeted transport networks used by county lines gangs as part of County Lines Intensification Week, a national campaign.
-Arrested 21 people, 13 of those for drug supply offences
-Stopped and searched 70 people
-Seized more than 900 deal-sized packages of drugs and a significant amount of cash
-Searched 12 addresses in Southampton
-Safeguarded victims and vulnerable people being exploited by drug gangs.
County lines refer to when drug gangs from major cities set up networks in regional areas and use vulnerable people and children to carry, store and sell their drugs for them. The line refers to the phone line being used.
Chief Inspector Marcus Kennedy, deputy district commander for Southampton and force lead for County Lines Intensification Week, said: “This week of action has seen our officers put a significant dent in Southampton’s drug dealing operation.
“County lines can have a significant impact on crime in our communities and targeting them is a priority for us as we know they are associated with exploitation, organised criminality and violence.
“This week of activity was also an opportunity to support and protect those who become victims of exploitation.
“We all have a responsibility to look for the signs of this, such as a child with new clothing, an expensive phone or unexplained cash. They may have a change in behaviour or are suddenly going missing.
“You are our eyes and ears so please continue to report information about drug dealing or exploitation to us – it allows us to take action and lock up criminals.
“We will continue to target county lines networks and their associated crimes in the city, holding them to account for their actions and making their lives as difficult as possible.”
Anyone who believes that they are a victim of county lines, or has information about drug dealing in their neighbourhood can contact us on 101 or report online, always calling 999 in an emergency, or contact Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555 111 or visiting their website.
The Children’s Society is a charity that supports children and vulnerable young people effected by County Lines and other crimes and abuse. Visit their website for further information.