19 arrested as guns, drugs and cash seized in crackdown on County Lines gangs
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19 people have been arrested across Derbyshire during a crackdown on County Lines drugs gangs.
During the seven days of enforcement two handguns, £111,000 in cash and more than £2,000 worth of crack, heroin and cocaine were seized by officers.
Four cars were also seized during the warrants – as well as designer clothing worth £10,000.
DI Matt Croome, who led the enforcement action in the south of the county, said: “We are all too aware of the misery that County Lines gangs bring to our communities.
“While we work all year round to combat the threat they pose – the last week of enforcement has seen some really positive results.
“We also saw how seriously the courts take these offences with a gang of 11 people sentenced to more than 40 years in prison for moving drugs from Nottingham into Derby.”
County Lines gangs will often use drug addicts’ houses as a base to sell the drugs from.
Known as cuckooing the drug users will be often be given drugs to allow their home to be used – while vulnerable young people, who are often intimidated and beaten, are trafficked from their homes to cities they have often never been to.
DI Gaz Smethem, who leads the team tackling county lines in the north of the county, said: “County Lines gangs do not care who they have to use to sell their drugs – all they are concerned about is making money and give no thought to the dangers that these vulnerable young people are being put in.
“Over the course of the last week 20 addresses have been visited across the county to help give support to those at risk of being targeted by gangs.
“With Manchester and Sheffield just a stones throw over the border we are working day and night to detect, disrupt and bring gangs to justice.”
It is important to know how to spot the signs that a house in your area may be being used by a County Lines gang.
Some of the signs to spot are:
- People entering the property
- Cars or bikes outside the property
- Anti-social behaviour
- Litter outside
- People coming and going at strange times
There may also be:
- Damage to the door, or the door being propped open
- Unknown people pressing buttons to gain access to the building
- You have not seen the resident recently, or when you have, they have been anxious or distracted
- No engagement with family or services
- The resident will not open the door of their property
- Phone disconnected
If you believe someone’s home is being used to sell drugs you can report it via the following methods:
- Facebook – send us a private message to /DerbyshireConstabulary
- Twitter – direct message our contact centre on @DerPolContact
- Website – complete the online contact form www.derbyshire.police.uk/Contact-Us.
- Phone – call us on 101.
You can also anonymously contact the independent charity Crimestoppers, on 0800 555 111 or by visiting www.crimestoppers-uk.org.
If there is a crime happening there and then, especially if someone may be in danger, then always call 999.