North Yorkshire Police crack down on 'county lines' drug gangs in Scarborough and Whitby
Arrests have been made in Scarborough and Whitby during a week of national action to tackle "county lines" drug dealing.
A woman in her 50s from Scarborough was arrested on Wednesday May 22 on suspicion of possessing class A drugs after she was detained by officers in relation to a separate offence. She has been released on bail while enquiries continue.
In Whitby a man in his 20s was arrested on Friday May 21 on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of class A drugs and possessing class A drugs with intent to supply.
Officers searched him and his home and recovered class A drugs, cash, mobile phones and drugs paraphernalia. He has been released while under investigation.
Police arrested 20 people and made 87 welfare visits to 95 vulnerable people across North Yorkshire.
County lines is the name given to a form of organised crime in which drug dealers from urban areas exploit vulnerable people – including children – and force them to deal drugs in smaller towns and cities.
It takes its name from the mobile phone lines used by dealers to communicate between towns and advertise their drugs for sale.
The arrests and seizure of £10,000 formed part of a national 'Week of Intensification' to crack down on county lines drug dealing, which was coordinated by the National County Lines Coordination Centre between May 17 and 23.
Arrests took place in Scarborough, Whitby, York, Harrogate, Thirsk, and on the A1 motorway.
Officers seized a total of £10,000 cash suspected as being the proceeds of crime and a quantity of heroin, cannabis, pregabalin and a large quantity of suspected cocaine which is still undergoing testing but is believed to be worth several thousands of pounds.
Chief Inspector Lorraine Crossman-Smith coordinated North Yorkshire Police’s participation in the week of intensification. She said: “Disrupting drug dealing and the associated violence and exploitation continues to be a major priority for North Yorkshire Police.
“The week of intensification has given us an opportunity to demonstrate the type of work that goes on around the force on a daily basis. I am pleased with the results that come in the wake of a number of recent convictions for drug dealing including a gang of 10 and a gang of 4 that targeted York, and a gang of five that plagued Scarborough.
“That said, it is not only about arrests and convictions, it’s also about protecting those who are affected by the violence and intimidation, helping them to break the cycle of addiction and moving them away from the harm that comes from being targeted by ruthless, organised criminals.
"We can’t do that alone, which is why working with our partner agencies such as housing and addiction services is so important. So my thanks goes to everyone who supported us this week.
“I hope the people of North Yorkshire are reassured that we mean it when we say drug dealing is a priority and that we will take action when they report information to us.
"You can do this by looking out for the signs of exploitation and drug dealing. If you don’t want to call us, you can pass information anonymously to Crimestoppers. We can and do take action.”