Men stopped for smoking cannabis outside Leeds Station arrested for carrying knives

Two men who were stopped by police for smoking cannabis outside Leeds Station have been arrested after being found carrying knives.

By Rebecca Marano
Saturday, 26th September 2020, 1:03 pm
Updated Saturday, 26th September 2020, 5:21 pm

Officers searched the men on Friday, September 18 after they were spotted smoking the class B drug.

A stop and search found that they were both carrying knives and drugs.

One man also had scales and snap bags.

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Two men who were stopped by police for smoking cannabis outside Leeds Station have been arrested after being found carrying knives.

Both were arrested for possession of an offensive weapon, possession of class B and concerned in the supply of class B.

The men have been released under investigation.

The stop and search was part of an ongoing British Transport Police (BTP) operation into county lines drug dealing.

County lines drug dealing is when gangs transport drugs into other areas of the UK.

These criminal gangs often exploit children and vulnerable people.

BTP officers also stopped a man in Sheffield after he attempted to avoid the drug-sniffing dogs on Thursday, September 20.

The 21-year-old man was found to be in the possession of 20 wraps of cannabis, scales, three phones and a large knife.

He was arrested for possession with intent to supply cannabis.

He has been released under investigation.

Outside of the Yorkshire region, a 53-year-old man was arrested at Preston station on Friday, September 11 when he was found carrying a backpack full of vacuum packed drugs.

He was arrested for possession with intent to supply class A and class B and possession of class A drugs.

The man has been released under investigation.

At Manchester Piccadilly, a 20-year-old man was arrested on Saturday, September 19 after a drugs dog alerted officers.

He was found to be in possession of eight bags of cocaine and arrested for possession with intent to supply class A drugs.

He has been released under investigation.

Detective Superintendent Gareth Williams said: “Our taskforce is in a unique position, we operate nationally and target County Lines activity across the railway network.

“Our experience has proven that gangs who use the railway network rely on younger people to move drugs.

"These individuals are victims, forced through exploitation or intimidation into desperate situations, and it’s always our priority to make support available that can get them out of harm and away from crime.

“Since December, we’ve been carrying out operations daily, always based on developing intelligence that shows where gangs are operating.

"We get part of our information through working in partnership with other law enforcement agencies, but also importantly through the support of the rail industry who train their staff to spot signs of exploitation.

“These efforts to raise awareness of signs of exploitation have been greatly helped by the work of The Children’s Society who’s #LookCloser campaign aims to encourage everyone to spot key signs.

“Key indicators include a teenager travelling long distances, alone with a large amount of cash, or avoiding any sort of authority at stations.

"These indicators are small but invaluable and help inform where we target next. We have a rapidly evolving understanding of County Lines offending and we are prepared to tackle it, wherever the intelligence leads us.”