63 arrested in county lines crackdown across southern Wales
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Eight county lines were dismantled and drugs worth more than £3.15 million seized by officers from Gwent, South Wales and Dyfed-Powys.
A total of 63 people have been arrested and drugs worth more than £3.15 million seized across southern Wales during a recent crackdown to disrupt county lines activity.
Tarian, the Regional Organised Crime Unit (ROCU) for southern Wales, worked with national law enforcement partners to coordinate activities during county lines intensification week.
Officers from Gwent, South Wales and Dyfed-Powys police executed 17 warrants, arrested 63 people and dismantled eight county lines.
They also removed £260,000 in cash and made safe 63 vulnerable adults and children, during the week of action from Monday 9 October to Sunday 15 October.
Detective Inspector Richard Weber, from Tarian, said:
“The purpose of these intensification weeks is to heavily disrupt organised crime gangs, whose selfish intentions cause untold harm to those they exploit.
“The positive results we have achieved are the result of a collaborative effort by dedicated police officers and staff. Their efforts have shown that we will continue to pursue county lines criminals, whilst working to protect our communities.”
County lines is the name given to drug dealing where organised criminal groups (OCGs) move and supply drugs, usually from cities into smaller towns and rural areas.
Officers made use of a range of resources, including automatic number plate recognition (ANPR), knife sweeps, search warrants, covert officers and police dogs.
Members of the public also played a pivotal part by reporting their concerns around suspected county lines exploitation.
Other highlights during the week of activity were:
Crack cocaine seized with an estimated street value of up to £2,000.
Cocaine removed with an estimated street value of up to £16,000.
4,580 cannabis plants seized with an estimated street value of up to £3.1 million.
A variety of weapons - including knives, hammers, lighter fluid and two shotguns – removed.
Detective Inspector Weber said: “In addition to enforcement activity, police officers and staff engaged with partners from health, education, housing, hospitality, transport, the third sector and more to raise awareness of the signs of exploitation associated with county lines.
“Much of what we work to tackle can be described as hidden harm, and we need the public and our partners to continue raising their concerns so we can act proportionately and appropriately to target the perpetrators and safeguard those in need.”