Dorset Police has been successfully working alongside Merseyside Police to crack down on county lines gangs and their drug rings coming into Dorset.
The initiative taken by the police is part of Merseyside’s Project Medusa and focused around tackling the local gangs and crime networks by making arrests and seizing any weapons. Protecting the young and vulnerable people who were exploited is another key focus of the officers who took part in the operation.
A precent police raid revealed a hidden drug operation in the BCP area. The two day operation resulted in:
- 15 arrests
- 8 vehicles seized
- A warrant carried out which resulted in the seizure of approximately £1,000 in cash, a small quantity of suspected class A drugs, and an imitation firearm
- A street search of a suspect ending with an arrest when seven wraps of suspected class A drugs were discovered. Further searches at the suspect’s property revealed more drug paraphernalia including scales
- Quantities of suspected drugs, cash and stolen property seized
- Over 50 safe and well checks of vulnerable people carried out.
Assistant Chief Constable Steve Lyne has commented on the effects of county lines crimes and how they exploit the vulnerable people of the community, including children. He continued with statements on how the force is working to make Dorset a hostile place for criminals and sending a message to the county line gangs:
“Working with our colleagues in Merseyside allows us to attack these gangs in both the locations where they originate and the places where they have decided to set up shop. This sends a clear message to county lines gangs that Dorset is not a safe place for them to carry out their business and we will do everything we can to disrupt their activities and keep our communities safe.
“County lines” is a term directed at crimes involving gangs which sell drugs using dedicated mobile phone lines, however not all of them operate on county borders; with some operating across various cities. A dangerous trend among these gangs is how they use vulnerable people for their crimes and this has made them a priority for local police.
Dorset’s Police and Crime Commissioner and the APPC joint lead for Alcohol and Substance Misuse, David Sidwick has spoken up regarding the issue saying:
“When I was elected as Police and Crime Commissioner, I said one of my priorities was to deal with fighting violent crime and high harm – and that of course includes drugs, particularly the county lines gangs who bring heroin, crack cocaine and other substances from the big cities into our small towns and villages.”