Lancashire Police arrest 46 people and seize thousands of pounds worth of drugs during County Lines Intensification week

Last week, 46 people were arrested, cash, weapons and mobile phones were seized and suspected Class A and Class B drugs were recovered from across Lancashire, as part of a major national operation to crack down on County Lines offenders.
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As part of this ‘County Lines Intensification week’, Lancashire Police also visited and safeguarded 160 vulnerable people, provided educational visits to schools across the county and visited bus stations, train stations and taxi ranks to raise awareness around County Lines, delivering messages and leaflets.

During the week, 34 men and nine women were arrested, along with three people aged under 18.

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Thousands of pounds worth of Class A and Class B drugs were seized along with cash, 20 mobile phones, four machetes, six knives, a hunting knife, and a knuckleduster.

Lancashire Police secured numerous arrests and seizes during County Lines Intensification week.Lancashire Police secured numerous arrests and seizes during County Lines Intensification week.
Lancashire Police secured numerous arrests and seizes during County Lines Intensification week.

Lancashire Constabulary’s Force lead for County Lines, Becky Smith said: “We are working harder than ever to crack down on County Lines criminals who bring drug dealing and violence into our communities. County Lines is a term used to describe gangs and organised criminal networks involved in exporting illegal drugs, using dedicated mobile phone lines or other forms of ‘deal line’, often exploiting children and vulnerable people to move drugs and money.

“This week’s activity is a snapshot of the work carried out across Lancashire every single day to disrupt those involved in organised crime and tackle County Lines. Along with our partners in Children’s Social Services, Health and Education, we will continue this work, also driving awareness in schools and identifying those vulnerable to exploitation so that we can provide appropriate safeguarding.

“Our intention is to make Lancashire an uncomfortable place for these criminals to operate and we are committed to continuing to work alongside our partners and other forces to close down these lines, protect vulnerable people and remove those who exploit from our streets.”

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During school visits, officers provided education on how gangs will criminally exploit children and adults and have given advice on signs to look for if somebody is being exploited.

Some of these signs include children frequently going missing and then returning home, having more clothes, mobile phones, or cash than usual, receiving excessive text messages or phone calls and disengagement from school.

If you believe that someone may be involved in County Lines or other drugs activity, you can report it by calling 101.

Alternatively, you can report it via the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or at Crimestoppers-uk-org.

If you think someone is in immediate danger, call 999.