Warrants carried out in fight against county lines gangs
Arrests were made in Haringey as part of a police battle against county line gangs involved in drug dealing and exploitation of young people.
Lewisham and Hackney were also targeted as the Metropolitan Police joined forces with officers from Devon and Cornwall and searched addresses in St Bodmin, St Austell and Newquay, Cornwall.
County lines is a term used to describe urban gangs supplying drugs to other parts of the UK using dedicated mobile phone lines. The gangs are likely to exploit children or vulnerable adults to move and store drugs and will often use violence and coercion.
In total, 10 properties were identified as being part of a county line that fed through from London to Cornwall.
Teams of officers entered the properties simultaneously in the early hours under Section 8 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE).
Nine people were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs, and modern slavery and human trafficking offences.
Councillor Mark Blake, Cabinet Member for Communities, Safety and Engagement at Haringey Council, said:
“This should serve as a clear message that drug and violent crime will not be tolerated in our borough.
“Across the country authorities and the police are working together to track down and identify those responsible. As gang violence continues to affect young people across London – and in Haringey – we must all take a stand against those responsible for this crime and exploitation.”
Detective Superintendent Luke Marks from the Metropolitan Police Service said:
“The warrants executed weren’t just about taking suspected criminals off the street; more importantly they were about protecting vulnerable people who are exploited due to their age, debt, addiction, mental health problems or other issues that make them an easy target. We won’t tolerate it.”
Detective Inspector Peter Found, from Cornwall police, said:
“We will not stand for county lines dealers operating in Cornwall and will not hesitate to work across force borders to protect vulnerable victims and bring those involved in this criminal activity to justice.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact their local force online or by using the non-emergency number 101. Alternatively, you can report information to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through their online form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org