Seven arrested and charged as part of ongoing operation to crackdown on County Lines
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Police officers from Merseyside and North Wales executed warrants at six addresses in Kirkby, Bootle, Bagillt and Holywell on Tuesday 4 February, as part of the ongoing crackdown on County Lines Organised Crime Groups (OCGs) responsible for cross border drugs supply and the criminal exploitation of young and vulnerable people.
Seven people (six men and a woman) have been arrested and charged, four in Merseyside and three in North Wales.
The operation follows on the back of a number of recent operations conducted by Merseyside Police with other force areas including Cheshire, Cumbria, Staffordshire, Northumbria and North Wales, which have resulted in a number of arrests and seizures of drugs, weapons and mobile phones. A number of stop searches were also carried out.
Last month Home Secretary Priti Patel joined officers on Merseyside as warrants were executed and a total of 16 people were arrested and 87 stop searches were carried out around the North West and North Wales.
Following the operation, Detective Inspector Allison Woods said: "The concentrated activity of our officers, working together with North Wales Police yesterday, has led to the cutting of two County Lines run by Organised Crime Groups from Merseyside. County Lines are run off the backs of vulnerable people targeted by ruthless criminals.
"This initiative, codenamed Project Medusa, hits the criminals hard, but when it comes to the young and vulnerable people, who have been criminally exploited, we ensure that they are treated sensitively and with understanding.
"We will do everything within our power to sever the County Lines that blight our communities and the recently created Violence Reduction Unit (which consists of representatives from Merseyside Police, the Health Service, all five local authorities), is looking at long term strategies to see how a public health approach can help prevent people from becoming involved in County Lines."
Anyone with information which could assist our investigation into County Lines criminality can DM @MerPolCC, call 101 or contact the Crimestoppers line anonymously on 0800 555 111.