North Yorkshire Police have teamed up with British Transport Police in an operation to crack down on ‘County Lines’ drug dealers.
Rail passengers may have seen an increased police presence at Scarborough train station yesterday, July 25, as the operation launched.
‘County Lines’ is a term used to describe a form of organised crime where criminals based in urban areas pressurise vulnerable people and children to transport, store and sell drugs in smaller county towns.
Project Shield is a joint operation targeting suspects who police believe are using the rail network to bring drugs and cash in and out of the town.
Detective Chief Inspector Graeme Wright, of North Yorkshire Police, said: “Increasingly, North Yorkshire is seeing drug dealers and the people they are exploiting, use the rail network to travel to the area from areas such as Manchester, Merseyside, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire.
“Combined with Automatic Number Plate Recognition technology on our roads, our aim is to disrupt their means of transport and ability to sell drugs in North Yorkshire, as well as safeguarding vulnerable people who have been pressured into ‘working’ for organised criminals.”
‘Cuckooing’ is an issue in North Yorkshire where county lines drug dealers take over a vulnerable person’s home to store their drugs and cash and use it as base for dealing.