22 arrested as part of County Lines Intensification Week
Main article content
Cocaine, heroin and crack were seized and 22 people arrested in Northamptonshire as part of a national drive to tackle county lines drug dealers.
Last week police forces from across the UK took part in County Lines Intensification Week in a bid to disrupt the activity of gangs of drugs dealers who travel around the country creating fear and selling drugs.
These gangs target vulnerable people and exploit them to deal drugs, hide weapons and commit other crimes. They also take over vulnerable people’s houses to deal from and turn children as young as ten into drug runners.
In Northamptonshire, tackling these gangs is a matter of priority and lots of activity took place to disrupt those involved in this type of crime.
Members of our Neighbourhood Policing Teams were also out and about engaging with the public, offering reassurance and advice on what to do if people have concerns about gang activity where they live. This included visits with the Beat Buses and the sharing of information about the signs of child criminal exploitation with 360 schools across the county.
Visits were also made to vulnerable people who have been identified as being at risk of cuckooing, where gangs take over the home of people to prepare and deal drugs.
During the week:
Four warrants were executed
22 arrests were made
15 children were safeguarded
11 adults were safeguarded
30 wraps of crack seized
32 wraps of heroin seized
557 deals of cocaine seized
97 cannabis plants seized
85 cannabis buds seized
57 MDMA tablets seized
£10,256 cash seized
1 machete seized
1 crossbow seized
4 knives seized
2 knuckle dusters seized
Detective Inspector Carrie Powers, from the Serious and Organised Crime Team, said: "I'm pleased with the positive results we've seen during this intensification week.
"Illegal drugs cause an enormous amount of harm in our communities. We want to get rid of the criminals running these drug gangs and provide help to those exploited by them, as well as educating young people about how to spot and avoid getting caught up in County Lines activity.
“Northamptonshire Police is committed to tackling county lines and safeguarding vulnerable people.
"I want to thank all the officers and staff who were involved in this intensification week and in particular, the Home Office for supporting our activity by providing funding.”
What are the key signs a child or young person could be at risk?
Children travelling alone, especially if this is in school hours, late at night or on a regular basis. If they are being criminally exploited they may be sent significant distances and may be missing from home
They may be lost or appear as though they are in unfamiliar surroundings
They may appear anxious, frightened or angry, but they may also appear disruptive or aggressive - a common response to trauma
They could be in possession of multiple phones
They might appear under the control or instruction of others, including people who are older than them and do not appear to be family members
You may see them with large amounts of cash
Signs of a child being at risk online, could include them talking about older or new friends they have met online, talking about gifts, money or in game credits they have received online, receiving large numbers of calls or messages, being worried about being away from their phone and having a new phone or more than one phone
You can report any concerns you have via northants.police.uk, by calling 999 in an emergency or 101, or you can report anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 or via the Crimestoppers website.
Earlier this month the Northamptonshire Safeguarding Children Partnership released a film to help parents and other trusted adults spot the signs of a problem and highlight the crucial part they can play by taking appropriate action.