Crackdown on West Yorkshire county lines drugs crime leads to dozens of arrests
Officers have arrested 33 people and seized drugs, cash and weapons in a week's crackdown on county lines drug dealing in West Yorkshire.
County Lines week last week saw forces across the country stamping down on drug dealers exploiting the young and vulnerable into selling their drugs in smaller towns and cities.
The term 'county lines' refers to the use of phone lines to organise the transportation of drugs between locations, usually by bribing people into using public transport to carry and pass on their goods.
West Yorkshire Police arrested 32 men and one woman in the week commencing October 7 as part of their crackdown on organised drugs crime.
Officers also seized various class A drugs including crack and MDMA, and cannabis.
A staggering £18,000' worth of cash was also confiscated in raids carried out across the county, as well as weapons such as pistols, samurai swords, a machete and various knives.
They also identified a further six potentially vulnerable adults and made four referrals to the National Referral Mechanism, whilst visiting seven addressed where it was thought 'cuckooing' was occurring.
Cuckoo crimes are when drug dealers move into a vulnerable person's home, using it as a base to make, store and sell drugs.
West Yorkshire Police's Drugs Co-ordinator Jess Clayton said: “As a Force we have carried out a great deal of enforcement activity and enforcement work to safeguard vulnerable people.
“We have also carried out a lot of education activity, delivering 75 inputs reaching approximately 11,700 people, handed out leaflets outlining the key aspects of county lines crime in 65 areas and had an ad-van out covering every single district in West Yorkshire.
“We are doing what we can to bring those criminals to justice but by watching out for a few key warning signs you can help protect loved ones from criminals."
Parents have also been told to spot warning signs in children that they may be being exploited. These are:
• Items of clothing, mobile phones and/or money that they cannot explain how they came by
• Going missing and being found in locations far from home
• Making friends with older individuals and calling them by a nickname
• Pushing away from their peers and changing interests
• Changes in behaviour – for example saying “others have their back” and being secretive