Two people arrested in police crackdown on county lines drug dealing in Scarborough, Filey and Bridlington

Two people have been arrested during a crackdown on gangs forcing children into drug dealing around the east coast.

Friday, 12th June 2020, 11:01 am
Updated Friday, 12th June 2020, 11:02 am
Two people have been arrested in a police crackdown on county lines drug dealing.

Officers from North Yorkshire Police launched the operation as part of a Yorkshire and Humber-wide plan to target 'county lines' drug trafficking.

Teams worked across the three towns, talking to members of the public about the dangers of dealers who seek to exploit and prey upon the vulnerabilities of young people and get them to do their dirty work.

A 31-year-old man from Scarborough was arrested on suspicion of being in possession of cocaine and a number of high value watches, drugs and cash were seized.

The man has since been released under investigation.

A 57-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply a class A drug. He has been released under investigation.

North Yorkshire Police teamed up with Humberside Police, British Transport Police and the National County Lines Co-ordination Centre for the operation.

British Transport Police stopped 14 people and two people were reported for possession of cannabis.

Det Insp Mark Catney, the County Lines Lead for the Yorkshire and the Humber Regional Crime Unit, said: “Drug dealers who are looking to move into another area need transport just like everyone else – and that helps us to target their movements.

“The exploitation of children to deal drugs in this way is known as county lines and is a particularly horrible way of committing serious criminal offences.

"Children and other vulnerable people may be groomed or simply forced through the threats of violence to get involved with hardened criminals who will stop at nothing to exploit their young age and vulnerability.

“This operation was as much about giving advice to people about how to spot the signs that their child or other loved one could be forced into the crime and what to do to prevent that from happening.

"It also gave us the opportunity to warn criminals thinking of using the rail network that we know it happens and we will be waiting for them.

“We take this issue extremely seriously and I hope this proves to criminals they have nowhere to hide.

"Through a collaborative partnership approach we can all work to safeguard these vulnerable children.’

DCI Graeme Wright of North Yorkshire Police’s Scarborough command, added: “County lines drug dealing remains a major priority for North Yorkshire Police and we continue to focus firmly on disrupting the perpetrators and protecting the vulnerable.

"This latest operation demonstrates the collective ability of the police and partner agencies to work together to tackle what are complex issues and vulnerabilities.

"Criminals know no boundaries and it’s important that we all work in partnership whether locally, as a region or nationally, to protect our communities.”

Humberside Police’s Detective Inspector Richard Osgerby added: “Working with regional and national partners enables us to be more effective in tackling cross border county line drugs offending.

"This operation is aimed at protecting the vulnerable victims who are being exploited by these groups and to reassure our communities that we are proactively tackling county lines drug dealing."