15 arrested after police swoop in county lines raids
Police investigating an alleged County Lines drugs supply operation in Devon have carried out raids across the country.
Members of an organised crime group in Merseyside are said to have relocated to the south-east to target vulnerable people and store drugs in the area. Other gang members in Devon and South Wales have allegedly conspired together with their Merseyside counterparts to arrange the supply and distribution of heroin and cocaine in Plymouth, Exeter and Torbay, and amphetamine in South Wales.
On Thursday, a total of 15 people were arrested on suspicion of drugs offences following the execution of around 30 warrants by the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit.
Four people were arrested in Merseyside with a further eight arrested in Devon and Cornwall and three in South Wales. Heroin, cocaine and amphetamine with a total estimated street value of £5million has been seized.
Detective Chief Inspector Ian Hussey, of Merseyside Police, said: “Vulnerable people are being coerced, groomed and threatened by violence to take part in illegal activity across the north-west and further afield.
“We are targeting those people we believe are exploiting vulnerable people to profit from the misery of others.”
“Alongside our colleagues at the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit and forces around the country, we will use a range of tactics to put a stop your criminality and take you off our streets.“We have also been working with a range of partners, to go into schools and youth groups, to educate vulnerable young people on how they can avoid becoming a target to these criminal groups.”