Gun, drugs and cash seized in police operation aimed at tackling drug dealing gangs in South Yorkshire

Police made 16 arrests and seized a gun, drugs and thousands of pounds in an operation to tackle drug dealing gangs in South Yorkshire.

Friday, 25th September 2020, 2:47 pm

Around £26,000 worth of Class A drugs and almost £20,000 cash were found by officers in week of action to disrupt drug dealing and the exploitation of vulnerable people.

The UK-wide week-long operation, which ran from September 14-20, was aimed at disrupting ‘county lines drug dealing.

County lines involves gangs exploiting vulnerable adults and children, forcing them to move and sell drugs between counties in a bid to widen their criminal network.

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A gun, drugs and cash were seized in an operation in Sheffield

In total, around £26,000 of suspected heroin, crack and cocaine was seized and £18,760 in cash.

Officers also recovered a firearm, ammunition and Class B drugs cannabis and spice.

The sixteen arrested were questioned in relation to drugs, weapons and money laundering offences.Detective Chief Inspector Emma Wheatcroft said: “County Lines involves using a dedicated phone or ‘deal line’ and we know that gangs involved often use coercion, threats of violence or physical harm to force youngsters and vulnerable adults to conduct their illegal activities.

“These gangs are a real threat to our communities.

“Our job is to raise awareness of what county lines is, the warning signs that someone is being exploited or mistreated, and target and disrupt offenders.”Officers also carried out visits to properties where concerns have been raised in relation to cuckooing – where offenders take over the homes of victims, typically vulnerable adults, as part of the supply and distribution of drugs in particular areasDCI Wheatcroft added: “While our disruption tactics are absolutely essential, we also need to make sure we are checking in on vulnerable people, making sure they’re safe and know how to access support if and when they need it.“Victims are often mistakenly viewed as having chosen to engage in criminal behaviour. What we need to understand is why they are engaging in this and how they became involved.“We need the public’s help in helping us to build up a picture in our force area.”

Call South Yorkshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 to pass on information.