Thousands of cash seized and 13 arrests made in county lines crackdown
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More than £14,000 cash has been seized and 13 people arrested as part of the latest week of action to tackle county lines in Gwent.
Forces from across the UK took place in the intensification week between Monday 17 May and Sunday 23 May which aimed to disrupt those involved in county lines activity.
County lines is a drugs distribution model using mobile phones where drugs are exported from major cities and imported into other areas, often using vulnerable adults and children.
Results for the week in Gwent include:
- 13 arrests
- Class A drugs seized including heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine
- £14,580 in cash seized
- A number of people vulnerable to exploitation spoken to and offered support
- Weapons seized including a machete, hammer and knuckle duster
- Mobile phones and two cars also seized
Activity included warrants at two addresses in Newport.
Detective Inspector Ian Bartholomew said: “Tackling county lines and associated criminality is a priority for Gwent Police. We are committed to protecting those at risk from exploitation and making Gwent a hostile environment for those seeking to do harm.
“The results of this week of action have been really positive not just in terms of arrests but the protection of vulnerable people in our communities. Illegal drugs have no place in our society and we will continue to target those whose criminal activities blight the lives of the communities in Gwent.
“We recognise that tackling county lines is not something which can be solved by police alone. We are urging young people, parents and the wider Gwent community, to familiarise themselves with the signs that a young person might be at risk of being exploited and to tell us about your concerns. Signs of exploitation include a child with unexplained cash, a new expensive phone or clothing along with suddenly going missing.
“If you have any concerns that someone you know is being exploited or you have concerns about drug dealing, then please call us on 101 or 999 in an emergency. Alternatively, Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111.”
What are the key signs a young person could be at risk of exploitation?
- Going missing from school or home
- Significant changes in their emotional well-being
- Meeting unfamiliar people
- Changes in their behaviour
- The use of drugs and alcohol
- Acquiring money or expensive gifts they can’t account for
- Relationships with controlling or older individuals or associated with gangs
- Suspicion of self-harm, physical assault or unexplained injuries