Tackling County Lines drug dealing a ‘strategic policing priority’, says NPCC
The National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) says “relentless and robust action” to bring down County Lines drug-dealing gangs remains a “strategic priority” for policing across England and Wales.
More than 1,600 arrests were made in the latest County Lines Intensification Week according to figures released by the NPCC.
In addition, the operation coordinated by the NPCC-led National County Lines Coordination Centre (NCLCC), saw more than 100kg of cannabis seized, alongside 40kg of Class A drugs worth more £1.2 million, 33 firearms, 377 bladed weapons, and more than £1.2 million in cash, as forces made large gains against these gangs and the products that finance their exploitative criminality.
“This relentless and robust action to bring down County Lines gangs is part of policing’s strategic objective in breaking the model used by the organised criminals and protecting vulnerable people who are being exploited by them,” said the NPCC.
As part of continued efforts, the NCLCC has released the County Lines Strategic Assessment for November 2020 to October 2022. The assessment shows that policing continues to make good progress in identifying and closing drugs lines, arresting offenders, and safeguarding vulnerable children and adults.
Commander Paul Brogden, NPCC lead for County Lines, said: “We have made significant inroads to tackle those organised criminals behind County Lines across England and Wales.
“Policing has established successful joint working practices, coordinated through the NCLCC, which has enabled best practice, experience and knowledge to be shared across the country, which has led to significant arrests and shutting down of lines used by criminals.
“However, we cannot arrest our way out of the threat posed by county lines, and we must ensure we continue to take a much wider approach in order to see long term impact.
“The County Lines Strategic Assessment provides the base of where we are currently and where we need to go.
“County Lines drug dealing destroys lives, and we are committed to stopping the supply of illegal drugs, and the exploitation and violence that is frequently associated with it.
“Our message is clear to anyone running County Lines across the country – we will be relentless in our pursuit of you, we will shut down your County Lines, we will take drugs off our streets and we will rescue those who are being exploited by you.”