County lines crackdown by South Yorkshire Police sees 55 arrests in a week

Police in South Yorkshire have seized over £20,000 worth of drugs and made 55 arrests in a week of action tackling county lines drugs gangs.

Friday, 22nd October 2021, 12:54 am
Updated Friday, 22nd October 2021, 12:55 am

Across the past week week, officers across South Yorkshire have executed daily warrants to target and disrupt county lines drugs gangs.

Officers made 55 arrests for drug related offences including the supply of Class A drugs and possession with intent to supply Class A drugs. They recovered £15,500 worth of crack cocaine and £5,400 worth of heroin along with a large quantity of cannabis.

Through their searches, the force also seized almost £12,000 in cash and a number of potentially deadly weapons.

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South Yorkshire Police has cracked down on county lines drugs gangs this week

Detective Chief Inspector Emma Wheatcroft said: “It was a highly successful week here in South Yorkshire and thanks to the hard work of our officers, we now have a great deal of evidence to progress prosecutions and take these harmful criminals from our streets.

What are county lines drugs gangs and who is at risk?

“Enforcement is only one side of this story. While many teams focused on drugs warrants, others worked with partners and visited vulnerable adults and children to raise awareness of county lines, what to look out for and how to report concerns that someone is being criminally exploited.

Fourteen addresses which have been previously targeted for cuckooing were visited with officers ensuring everything was in order at the address.

DCI Wheatcroft continued: “It’s important we build relationships with these victims so they know to come to us if anything is wrong – that trust element is really important as they can feel threatened and intimidated by gangs and we need them to know we are there to help. The networks built by our neighbourhood policing officers are incredibly valuable.

“We also visited schools to speak to children about the risks of county lines and who they, their family and teachers can speak to if they’re worried about exploitation. It’s important to know that any child can be targeted by gangs, they operate by filling a need, whether it be by offering money, friendship or gifts.

“I’d like to thank everyone involved in the operation last week, it was a real success and that was down to the hard work of partners across the county.”

County lines gangs operate by using vulnerable adults and children to move, harbour and deal Class A drugs on their behalf.

They are particularly harmful to communities because they make money by exploiting others. Some gangs ‘cuckoo’ vulnerable adults, taking over their homes and using them as a base to deal drugs.