County Line drug networks disrupted in New Forest during week of action
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Officers seized cannabis and hundreds of pounds in cash during a week of action against county lines drug dealing networks in the New Forest.
Between Monday 9 October and Sunday 15 October, drug-related operations, including a warrant, were carried out across the district.
The proactive work was undertaken by officers from the New Forest Priority Crime Team and local neighbourhood policing teams.
On Monday 9 October, officers arrested a 36-year-old Southampton man at an address in Kitchers Close, Hythe. A mobile phone, cannabis and £530 in cash were also seized at the property.
He was arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of a Class B drug and assault of an emergency worker. The detained man was later released on conditional bail, pending further enquiries.
Also on 9 October, officers executed a drugs warrant at an address in Gregory Gardens, Totton. Several cannabis plants were discovered inside the address and were subsequently seized.
On Wednesday 11 October, a 35-year-old Holbury man was stopped in a vehicle in Foresters Road, Fawley. Several small bags of suspected Class A drugs were also seized by officers.
He was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply a Class A drug, failing to stop for police and driving with a proportion of a specified controlled drug above the specified limit. The man was released under investigation for the suspected driving offences and received a conditional caution in relation to the possession of Class A drugs.
On the same day, a visit to an address in Knightstone Grange, Hythe, led to the arrest of a 23-year-old man from London. He was arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of Class A and Class B drugs.
It comes after cannabis, mobile phones and £600 in cash were all seized.
Jamali Calvert, 23, of Garnet Road in Brent, London was later charged with being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs, and remanded in custody. He will appear at Southampton Crown Court on Friday 10 November.
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.
Inspector Darren Ord, said: “The week of action saw our officers working extremely hard to put a dent in the district’s drug dealing operation.
“County lines can have a significant impact on crime in our communities. 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 are most vulnerable to county lines - those who become victims of exploitation.
“We all have a responsibility to look for the signs of exploitation, such as a child with new clothing, an expensive phone or unexplained cash.
“Their behaviour may have also suddenly changed, or they may have suddenly started 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 our area, 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.
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.