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Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Drug Gangs Epidemic in The UK: Ringleaders Rake In £2.5billion By Using Children As Young As 13 To Flood Areas With Heroin And Crack Cocaine

Country Lines drug gangs epidemic in our towns
The disturbing scale of the ‘county lines’ national crime epidemic was laid bare yesterday.
Police said the number of gangs shipping heroin and crack cocaine from cities to provincial towns had doubled to 1,500 in under a year.
Using youngsters as drug mules, they are making a combined £7million a day – around £2.5billion a year.

Police said the number of gangs shipping heroin and crack cocaine from cities to provincial towns had doubled to 1,500 in under a year. Pictured: A police raid in Rotherhithe 
Police said the number of gangs shipping heroin and crack cocaine from cities to provincial towns had doubled to 1,500 in under a year. Pictured: A police raid in Rotherhithe 
Last night it also emerged that:
  • 200 suspects were arrested in just one week in the first round-Britain crackdown on the gangs;
  • Dealers as young as 13 were among those held by police;
  • Officers seized scores of weapons including loaded guns, a samurai sword and hunting knives.
The shocking results of the crackdown by all the country’s constabularies will intensify calls for politicians and police to step up their response to the county lines networks.
The term refers to the phone lines used by gangs to sell and distribute drugs.
Yesterday the National County Lines Coordination Centre unveiled estimates showing the number of operations has soared from 720 last November to 1,500 today. Each county lines route is making as much as £5,000 a day – £7million between them all.
The youngest offender caught in last week’s crackdown is thought to be a boy of 13 held in Essex on suspicion of possessing a Class A drug with intent to supply.
A boy of 16 was arrested in York at a drugs den more than 100 miles from his home in Merseyside. Police rescued 58 vulnerable people including a number of child drug slaves being held in appalling conditions.
Regional crime units seized scores of weapons including a samurai sword, loaded guns, a zombie knife, an axe, a meat cleaver and hunting knives.
Huge quantities of class A drugs and around £100,000 in cash were also recovered from residential properties, including the homes of drug addicts taken over by gangs to use as a base in a tactic known as ‘cuckooing’.
Vince O’Brien, head of drugs operations at the National Crime Agency, said dozens of groups were disrupted and some lines shut down.
Using youngsters as drug mules, the gangs are making a combined £7million a day – around £2.5billion a year. Pictured: A 16-year-old boy is arrested in York 
Using youngsters as drug mules, the gangs are making a combined £7million a day – around £2.5billion a year. Pictured: A 16-year-old boy is arrested in York 
The £3.6million coordination centre was set up in September to map the activities of the gangs which have spread from large cities such as London, Liverpool and Birmingham into rural areas.
Many of the arrests last week demonstrated that child and adult drug couriers are travelling across the country.
Among those arrested in North Yorkshire, were suspects from Bradford, Manchester, Middlesbrough and Merseyside.
Dealers from Nottingham were picked up selling drugs in Newquay, Cornwall.
Raids on gang headquarters in Liverpool turned up large quantities of cocaine and cannabis as well as more than £80,000 in cash. There were 22 arrests in just two days in Norfolk and 19 more in Suffolk.
British Transport Police deployed undercover officers to smash a gang using the railways to move cocaine, cannabis and heroin around the country. The force has identified around 476 drug couriers using the rail network, 131 of them ‘frequent train travellers’.
Last week ten members of a gang were caught at Clapham Junction, Peterborough and Waterloo stations. Transport police also targeted specific railway stations such as Shrewsbury which is used to ship drugs from Merseyside, Wolverhampton and Birmingham to smaller rural towns.
Police raid a property in Albert Place, Norwich, in a week of action against country line drug gangs
Police raid a property in Albert Place, Norwich, in a week of action against country line drug gangs
Mr O’Brien said: ‘These arrests say something about the scale of the problem.
‘If we are talking about over 1,000 lines with multiple people in each line then this is the level of activity that we need to be carrying out to make a difference to this problem.
‘We have been really clear that this will be the first of a number of intensifications against this.
‘This is one of the first steps, but this will be the first of many.
‘We are absolutely focused on the need to tackle these networks because of the harm they cause.
‘Out of 200 arrests, I would hope that we have got the gangs that are behind organising these lines.
‘Whether they are Mr Bigs or not, these are the people who are actually running the lines so these were important arrests to make.’
Last month a Mail investigation revealed the scale of the county lines crisis which is thought to have enslaved thousands of children – prompting an intervention from Sajid Javid.
Via - Dailymail

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