Arrests made and drugs seized during operation targeting County Lines in Andover
Main article content
Officers in Test Valley made 13 arrests and seized drugs, cash and knives as part of a week of action to disrupt county line networks.
County Lines Intensification Week, which ran from Monday 27 February to Sunday 5 March, saw officers from various teams work together to apprehend those involved in the supply of drugs across the district.
County Lines are run by ‘line holders’ and the runners, who are often young and vulnerable children, are used to deliver and store the drugs. The line holders are likely to use coercion, intimidation, violence and weapons in order to exploit vulnerable people, which can often lead to incidents involving serious violence.
Led by Test Valley’s High Harm Team, officers carried out warrants at various addresses in the district, as well as making proactive stops of vehicles and people.
They seized more than £3,000 in cash, quantities of suspected Class A and B drugs, eight weapons, including two zombie knives.
Examples of the work officers carried out included:
• Stop and search of a woman in Weyhill Road, Andover. Drugs were found and an associated address in the same road was searched, where suspected Class A and Class B drugs, phones and two zombie knives were found and seized. A 38-year-old woman from Andover, a 42-year-old man from Andover, a 19-year-old man from Basingstoke and a 17-year-old boy from Overton were all arrested on suspicion of drug supply offences and have been given police bail while enquiries continue.
• Class A drugs, four phones and four knives seized following a warrant at an address in Galahad Close, Andover. Suspected stolen bike found and subsequently reunited with its owner.
• Arrest of a 17-year-old boy from Andover on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs, following a warrant in St Birstan Gardens. Phones, knives and cash were seized. He has been bailed pending further enquiries
• Stop of a vehicle by officers in South Street, Andover. A 31-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of a Class B drug, assault by beating of an emergency worker and three driving offences. He has been released on police bail while enquiries continue.
Sergeant Stuart Harris, from Test Valley’s High Harm Team, said: “County Lines and its associated violence causes misery for communities and we are not immune to it here in Test Valley.
“I hope our action provides reassurance that we put significant effort into identifying and arresting those involved.
“This work will continue, and we will also carry on working with partners to safeguard those people who are vulnerable to these toxic drug networks.
“We can only carry out operations like this with the support and help from the community.
“Please continue to report drug-related activity where you live so that we can take action and bring offenders to justice.”
Report information to us via 101, our website or by calling Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.