Scarborough Police arrest four over 'county lines' drug dealing

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Police in Scarborough have arrested another four people on suspicion of supplying drugs as they continue to target so-called “county lines” drug dealing.

The four were arrested on Friday 12 October 2018 after a 32-year-old Scarborough woman was stopped and searched in the street in Eastfield and arrested on suspicion of supplying class A drugs.

A search was then carried out at a property in Eastfield and another three people were arrested on suspicion of supplying class A drugs, they include a 38-year-old woman from Scarborough, a 26-year-old man from Liverpool and a 39-year-old man from Manchester. The two men have been released on bail while the investigation continues. The two women have been released while under investigation.

This latest activity follows the arrests of 15 people across the county since the beginning of October as part of a crack-down on county lines.

County lines is the name given to a type of organised crime in which drug dealers from urban areas such as Manchester, Liverpool and West Yorkshire, exploit children and vulnerable people and force them to travel to smaller towns such as Scarborough, York and Harrogate to sell drugs. Often using violence and intimidation. It takes its name from the phone lines used to communicate between towns and advertise drugs for sale.

The dealers at the centre of county lines also use violence and threats to take over the homes of vulnerable people, often drug users themselves, or people with mental or physical disabilities, to store and sell drugs in a tactic known as “cuckooing”.

Information from members of the public is vital in helping the police disrupt drug dealing and in protecting vulnerable adults and children. Please call us if you suspect drug dealing activity in your neighbourhood.

The signs to look out for:

• The signs of cuckooing to look out for include:

• Increased callers at a property

• Increase in cars pulling up for short periods of time

• Different accents at a property

• Increased antisocial behaviour at a property

• Not seeing the resident for long periods of time

• Unfamiliar vehicles at the property

• Windows covered or curtains closed for long periods

Gangs are increasingly using social media to recruit children who aren’t typically vulnerable, so everyone needs to be alert to the following signs:

• Persistently going missing from school or home and / or being found out-of-area;

• Unexplained money, clothes, or mobile phones

• Excessive receipt of texts / phone calls

• Relationships with controlling / older individuals or groups

• Leaving home / care without explanation

• Suspicion of physical assault / unexplained injuries

• Carrying weapons

• Significant decline in school results / performance

• Gang association or isolation from peers or social networks

• Self-harm or significant changes in emotional well-being

If you suspect a child you care for or know is being exploited, please call the police on 101, if they are in immediate danger, always call 999

DO NOT approach anyone you suspect is involved in drug dealing. Please report it to the police on 101, or to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. If a person is in immediate danger, always call 999.