TWENTY-EIGHT arrests were made and eight vulnerable people safeguarded during a busy week of action for officers dealing with ‘County Lines’ activity in Staffordshire.
Officers seized almost six thousand pounds in cash, two machetes, a quantity of crack cocaine and 66 cannabis plants.
During the week of activity seven arrests were made in Biddulph and in Cannock, with four arrests in Penkridge and in Tamworth, and three arrests in Lichfield.
Two arrests were made in Stoke and one further arrest in Burton. Twenty men, two women and six teenage boys were arrested.
Twelve cuckooed addresses were visited and five vulnerable men, two vulnerable women, and one juvenile were safeguarded.
Forces and agencies across England and Wales worked together from September 14-20 September in an Intensification Week targeting this activity, which is where groups of young men from an urban area move into smaller towns to distribute crack cocaine or heroin.
The groups use vulnerable young people, often aged 14 to 24, to traffic the drugs after deals are agreed remotely through a mobile or ‘line.’
The young people involved may be coerced into this activity through debt, drugs use, grooming, threats or violence. Typical risk factors for those involved are mental health problems, drug use, debt, being known to the care system, and being prone to missing episodes.
Superintendent Jason Nadin, of Staffordshire Police, said: “This has been another intensive week of activity focusing on protecting the vulnerable in our communities and dealing with offenders.
“We’re working hard to tackle this challenge by disrupting those who would deal drugs in our communities.
“It has been a busy week – with lots of activity and arrests and, most importantly the vulnerable safeguarded - but the work continues and we will arrest and charge those dealing drugs but look to safeguard the young and vulnerable who may be pressured into this type of activity.”