Arrests and drugs seized as Nottinghamshire Police help shut down County Lines operation

Three people were arrested and drugs were seized after police shut down a County Lines operation.
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Nottinghamshire Police worked with colleagues in Lincolnshire on the joint operation to disrupt drug dealers and protect the vulnerable people they coerce into criminal activity.

County Lines is a term used to describe urban gangs supplying drugs to other parts of the UK using dedicated mobile phone lines.

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The gangs are likely to exploit children or vulnerable adults to move and store drugs - and they will often use violence and coercion to force people to deal their drugs.

Police have made three arrests and seized drugs after shutting down a County Lines operationPolice have made three arrests and seized drugs after shutting down a County Lines operation
Police have made three arrests and seized drugs after shutting down a County Lines operation

Officers from the force’s County Lines and Modern Slavery teams, led by Detective Sergeant Nicki Roddis-Ferrari, executed two warrants on Sunday, October 23, at the Shuttleworth House flat complex in Lincoln.

Three people were arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs.

Detective Inspector Nikki Smith, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “This was a great joined up team effort across two force areas with an excellent outcome.

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“The exploitation of minors on County Lines and of those at risk of child criminal exploitation is of huge concern and we will take all steps necessary to safeguard those who are forced or coerced to work in this criminality.

“By taking positive enforcement action we intend to not only safeguard those at risk but disrupt the criminal activity and bring those to justice who seek to exploit some of the most vulnerable in our society.”

Nottinghamshire Police officers also took part in a regional week of intensification on County Lines recently, which saw coordinated action take place to disrupt those involved.

Throughout the week, which took place between Monday, October 3, and October 7, officers aimed to raise awareness of County Lines.

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They distributed Look Closer leaflets at major shopping centres, providing basic training to shop floor staff in identifying potential County Lines offending/offenders and victims.

Leaflets were also distributed at rail and bus stations, custody suites, hospitals and taxi firms.

Seven safeguarding visits were conducted with children identified at risk.

This included actions to assist in the safeguarding of a 12-year-old boy currently active on a County Line running from Nottingham into Lincoln.

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Officers worked with the British Transport Police (BTP) as the juvenile was known to be using the railways for travel between the two cities.

Across the East Midlands force areas (Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire) a total of 65 people were arrested.

More than £20,000 of Class A and B drugs, and £22,000 in cash were seized, 28 weapons recovered and 69 vulnerable people were safeguarded.

DI Smith added: “As part of County Lines Intensification Week, we always look to work with partners like the British Transport Police to tackle this head on.

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"During these regular operations, we not only seek to make arrests and recover drugs, but also look to identify and safeguard vulnerable young people who are potentially victims of criminal exploitation."

“If you feel like there’s something suspicious about an individual, or you’re concerned that a young person is travelling on their own, please contact British Transport Police.

“In an emergency you can call 999, or if it isn’t an emergency, call the 101 number.”