Major police operation sees 27 arrests, drugs seized and raids in Peterborough and Whittlesey
Cambridgeshire police working with officers from other forces have arrested 27 people in a series of operations to tackle drug gangs.
Cambridgeshire police have said today (Thursday, May 27) that they continue to rid the county of drugs gangs by dismantling four lines in a week.
Last week officers arrested 27 people and seized more than £12k in cash, £169k in cannabis and £7k in crack cocaine and heroin as part of a week of national targeted action (17-23 May) to tackle county lines.
Working alongside other forces and partners, officers executed warrants and targeted patrols in Cambridge, Ely, Huntingdon, London, Peterborough, St Neots and Whittlesey where the arrests were made.
Four people have since been charged with county lines drugs offences and are going through the court system.
They also visited ten potential cuckooed addresses, where drug dealers take over the home of a vulnerable person in order to use it as a base for dealing, to ensure people were safeguarded.
Illegal weapons including knives, batons and knuckledusters were also seized.
Throughout the week the force was working with hotels, landlords, taxi drivers and bus companies to encourage employees to look closer in order to spot children and young people who are being exploited by county lines criminals.
The week follows a successful five months (December-April) for Detective Chief Inspector Chris O’Brien and his team who have made 235 arrests and secured 60 charges for drugs offences – dismantling 20 different county lines.
The force has also referred 41 people to the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) as potential victims of exploitation.
The proactive teams carry out planned policing operations including warrants and arrests acting on intelligence reported to the force from a variety of different sources, including 101 calls and reports made through the website. They also regularly identify people they think could be vulnerable and take action to visit and safeguard them.
County lines is where illegal drugs are transported from one area to another, often across police and local authority borders, usually by children or vulnerable people who are coerced into it by gangs.
Drug dealers get young people to deliver their drugs by paying them or by forcing them through violence and grooming.
DCI O’Brien said: “There is a significant demand for crack cocaine and heroin across the county, particularly in Cambridge and Peterborough, and as a result the market is and remains attractive to county lines.
“The force works tirelessly to tackle county lines drug supply and organised crime group disruption.
We are committed to tackling drug networks which bring a whole host of criminality to our county as well as harm to the most vulnerable people in our communities including violence and exploitation.
“The message is simple, if you send people to deal drugs in Cambridgeshire on your behalf, we will find them and then find you and bring you all to justice. If you’re exploiting people, we will safeguard them and work with partners to ensure they are protected.”
If you suspect someone is involved in drugs and drug dealing or is vulnerable and being preyed on by a gang, you can report it online https://bit.ly/3uhcVQk or call police on 101. In an emergency always call 999.