BTP drug detection dogs to tackle County Lines criminality

British Transport Police (BTP) has introduced four specialist drug detection dogs to work within a new County Lines disruption team.

Dec 23, 2019
By Paul Jacques

The four dogs and their handlers will be deployed on intelligence-led operations across England, Scotland and Wales. The dogs have been trained to detect people carrying a vast array of different illegal substances within busy railway environments.

They will form part of the force’s newly created Country Lines disruption taskforce, which has been funded by the Home Office in a national pilot to crack down on drug dealers exploiting vulnerable young people.

BTP said this would involve working alongside uniformed and plain-clothes officers, as well as specialist officers trained in spotting the tell-tale signs of those with criminal intent.

Superintendent Chris Horton said: “We’re incredibly pleased to be expanding our drug detection capabilities across the railway network, and the new dogs are an exciting development for the force.

“With growing intelligence suggesting County Lines drug dealers are increasingly using the rail network to exploit vulnerable young people, drugs dogs are an important step in us denying criminals the ability to do so.

“In the past, we have routinely used drug detection dogs from other police forces to identify and disrupt County Lines activity across the railway, so we have seen the positive results they can and will continue to have.

“All of our dogs and their handlers play an exceptionally important role in keeping the travelling public safe, and I know their hard work will be strengthened even further by our newest arrivals.”

Kit Malthouse, Minister for Crime, Policing and Fire, added: “No one should be in any doubt that if you are moving drugs around the UK by road or rail, we will catch you. This new canine capability is a welcome addition to our renewed offensive against the County Lines industry that peddles misery and violence across the country. There will be more, much more to come”.

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