Over 220 people arrested across North West as part of crackdown on drug dealing gangs

More than 150 vulnerable adults and children were safeguarded in a national clampdown on drugs gangs.

By Sean Gleaves
Friday, 25th March 2022, 8:00 pm
Updated Friday, 25th March 2022, 8:02 pm

Officers from six North West police forces carried out a week of action to tackle county lines drug dealing between March 7 and 13.

The raids saw 227 people arrested, £409,462 of cash seized as well as more than 42kg of class A drugs including heroin and crack cocaine.

Officers also visited 70 cuckooed addresses and safeguarded more than 150 vulnerable adults and young people.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Across the region, 227 arrests were made, £409,462 of cash seized as well as more than 42kg of class A drugs.

Read More

Read More
Disqualified driver who lied to police after being caught speeding in Preston ja...

Insp Steve Owen, Regional County Lines Co-ordinator from the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit said: “Throughout the week-long operation we have been working together ... to dismantle county lines networks, so that we can protect the young and vulnerable people who are exploited by them.

“As well as the significant arrests and seizures we've collectively made, we have closed down 9 ‘deal lines’.

“We work tirelessly with the forces across the North West to tackle county lines all year round, to strengthen our regional response to these drug dealing gangs, and will continue to do so going forward.”

County Lines is when criminal gangs from cities across the UK use violence and intimidation to expand their drug network.

They exploit young people and vulnerable adults to move, store and sell the drugs and 'cuckoo' the homes of vulnerable or drug-addicted people.

The gangs use a single mobile phone line to communicate with drug users, often making up to £5k per day.

There are estimated to be more than 450 potential active county lines per month across the country.

“These gangs often groom children into county lines with the promise of cash, status, drugs and friendship, then use violence and threats to get them to do their 'dirty work' for them,” Insp Steve Owen added.“It’s important that we all recognise the signs of exploitation, so we can play our part in helping the vulnerable adults and young people to get the help they desperately need.

“During the week of action we also presented at the Everton in the Community annual safeguarding conference to educate staff about county lines.

“Visit eyes-open.co.uk to see how you can help."

It is thanks to our loyal readers that we can continue to provide the trusted news, analysis and insight that matters to you.

For unlimited access to our unrivalled local reporting, you can take out a subscription HERE and help support the work of our dedicated team of reporters.