Working alongside other forces and partners, Merseyside Police continued its crackdown on County Lines drug dealing, during the national County Lines Intensification Week, as part of regional and national action to tackle the issue.
Co-ordinated by the force’s Project Medusa team, the intensification week (which ran from 7-11 March) included operations, warrants, visits to vulnerable people and saw our officers travel to West Mercia, Humberside and North Wales.
We can now confirm that during the week of action: • 50 arrests were made • During warrants and other activity resulted in around £5000 cash, and over 3.5kg of Class A drugs and 3.9kg of cannabis recovered • Officers recovered weapons including knives, a knuckle duster and a pickaxe • Officers were involved with the safeguarding of 29 people
Some of the notable activity is below:
Officers executed warrants at six addresses across Merseyside.
Project Medusa officers executed a warrant in St Helens, which resulted in the arrest of one man from possession with intent to supply Class A and being concerned in the supply of Class A . Officers also recovered Class A drugs, wrapped for street dealing.
In Sefton officers conducted a warrant, which resulted in five arrests.
Liverpool officers arrested one youth following a warrant at an address in Anfield.
The County Lines taskforce and Matrix Vehicle Enforcement team travelled to the Shrewsbury area of West Mercia to work with the local force to carry out warrants in the area.
Officers conducted a warrant in Birkenhead, which resulted in the recovery of Class A (cocaine) and £1000 in cash as well as the arrest of one man.
Officers worked with colleagues in BTP and Merseytravel to target those who may be travelling from Kirkby towards Wigan on the trainline.
Officers also worked with North Wales Police in a joint operation – which resulted in the arrest of one man and the recovery of wraps of crack cocaine and a knife.
During a warrant in Bootle, officers recovered a man and recovered five bars of cannabis resin.
Two men were arrested in Lydiate, after a warrant at an address resulted in the recovery of cocaine and crack cocaine.
Officers from Project Medusa, alongside officers from West Mercia police arrested a man in Huyton, who was taken to West Mercia for questioning.
Officers executed a warrant in Prescot, which resulted in the arrest and charge of two men for conspiracy to supply Class A and possession with intent to supply Class A, after 13kg of heroin was found at an address.
Officers executed warrants and conducted searches at properties in Garston and Speke
The County Lines taskforce was deployed into Liverpool city centre, targeting drug supply using vulnerable people – this resulted in a vehicle being stopped and large quantities of cannabis, cocaine, ecstasy and MDMA found on board and two arrests were made.
Working in conjunction with Tunnels Police, officers stopped a number of vehicles and made a number of drug drive arrests.
Officers assisted Humberside Police with warrants targeting county lines into their force area.
Officers deployed into Blackpool to work alongside colleagues from Lancashire Police. As well as plain clothes staff, officers from the bike team were deployed utilising off-road bikes.
Throughout the week, officers visited addresses across Merseyside, with Local Authority partners, suspected of being used for cuckooing and a large number of school children and community hubs were visited by officers and partners across the force, to discuss how to spot if someone is being exploited by County Lines criminals and how they can get help.
Detective Superintendent Andy O’Connor said: "Project Medusa and teams across the force are working to tackle the issue of County Lines drug dealing, day in, day out and this week of action is just a snapshot of the work we do.
“As a force we are committed to working alongside partners and other forces to cut these County Lines, protect and safeguard vulnerable people. We will relentlessly target those crime groups who cowardly exploit vulnerable people in our communities.
“We cannot stop this criminality alone, we need to continue our work with partners and we need the public’s help. It’s vital that everyone who cares for or knows young and vulnerable people understands the issue and knows the warning signs.”
Read more here about the Eyes Open campaign, introduced by Merseyside Violence Reduction Partnership: https://www.eyes-open.co.uk
You can also report any concerns to police on 999 if a crime is in progress, via 101, or our social media desk via Twitter @MerPolCC.
You can also pass information via the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously, on 0800 555 111 or via their online form at: https://crimestoppers-uk.org