Over 1,000 wraps of Class A drugs have been seized during a county lines crackdown in the East Midlands.
During a national week of action against county lines last week, 64 people were arrested and seven deal lines were disconnected.
Forty vulnerable people were engaged with and 54 cuckooed addresses were visited during the seven days of intensive activity. More than 1,000 wraps of Class A drugs were seized, along with quantities of cannabis and mamba, 19 phones, designer clothes and more than 15k in cash.
Among 18 weapons seized were knives, a knuckleduster and a stun gun.
Detective Inspector Emma Nealon, who coordinates the East Midlands’ response to county lines, said: “The week’s activity is merely a glance at the breadth of work we are undertaking as a region to tackle county lines. It’s important we work together across our five forces, as well as with other force areas, to get the full picture and understand the extent of each line so we can identify and thus target the source.
"But at the heart of county lines is a social problem in which vulnerable members of our society are being trafficked and enslaved through violence and manipulation and, as such, it’s not something police can tackle alone. We are working closely with our partners in health, social care and education, as well as various charities, not only to identify those at risk of exploitation, but also to offer them a way out.
"You can help too. These gangs are recruiting young people, through promises of firm friends, quick cash and a glamourous lifestyle, then sending them out to small towns and rural areas to peddle their drugs. They are finding dependant drug users and using their addresses to deal from. Once involved these people feel trapped into a cycle of criminality that they are unable to escape.
"Look closer. Is there a young person showing signs of involvement in county lines? Have they ditched their mates for a new crowd? Are they flashing the cash and skipping school or work, disappearing for days on end?
"Are there strangers turning up in taxis and other cars to a house near you that you know is occupied by a vulnerable person? Have you seen that resident recently?
"If you know of a young person who may be vulnerable to exploitation by these gangs or if you think there might be a cuckooed address in your area, call us.”
Detective Inspector Paul Lefford, from Nottinghamshire Police, said: "It’s really important that we make people aware of the issues around county lines.
"During the week, Nottinghamshire Police gave awareness training to 136 adults and children. As well as helping young people to keep themselves safe, training was given to police cadets, social care managers, schools officers and taxi licensing staff, so that they know what to look out for and can help to stop vulnerable people from being exploited.
"In addition, we executed four warrants recovering Class A drugs, made five arrests and conducted safeguarding visits with young people at risk of becoming involved in county lines."
If you have concerns or information, please call Nottinghamshire Police 101. Otherwise, call