25 arrests made in Hertfordshire during week-long crackdown on organised drug dealing

151 people were arrested in the entire region

By James Lowson
Friday, 18th March 2022, 9:52 am

Police officers made 25 arrests in Hertfordshire during a week-long crackdown on organised drug dealing across the Eastern region.

In total ,151 arrests were made by the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit which targeted county line drug distribution schemes.

During a week of surveillance police officers assisted victims and children who may have been exploited by scheming gangsters.

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Police officers made 151 arrests in five days overall

Bedfordshire Police describes county line drug movements as when gangs sell their product to various different towns using a dedicated phone line.

These offenders are often linked to serious violence and use intimidation, grooming and exploitation, particularly of young or vulnerable people, to run drug dealing networks across the country, police officers say.

Between Monday 7 March and Friday 11 March 151 people were arrested, 34 dangerous weapons including 17 knives were seized and 55 vulnerable children and adults were safeguarded.

Police estimate that £48,000 worth of drugs and more than £150,000 worth of cash was also seized, 34 phones used in county line operations were taken.

Police forces carried out a number of different safeguarding activities, in particular working with taxi companies, coaches, and children’s homes to raise awareness of the signs of exploitation.

Detective Inspector Kelly Gray, county lines coordinator for the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU), said: “This was another successful intensification week of action, bringing down those involved in county drugs lines across the eastern region.

“As well as arresting more than 150 people and seizing a number of dangerous weapons, we’ve done a lot of great preventative work, working with partner organisations and businesses to raise awareness of the signs of exploitation and what to look out for in terms of county lines.

"This will all help have a longer term impact on the county lines operating in our area.

“The fantastic results from this week are a testament to the tireless work our forces carry out throughout the year to disrupt drugs lines and protect the most vulnerable members in our communities from those who wish to exploit them from county lines criminality.”

Bedfordshire police state, if you have information about drug dealing in your area, or if you’re concerned that someone you know may be involved in a county line, it’s important you contact your local force as soon as possible on 101, or call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

Bedfordshire Police provided the following data broken down by county to show the results of last week's operation:

-In Bedfordshire, eight knives were seized and five people were arrested.

-In Cambridgeshire, 14 people were arrested and £11,000 was seized, along with five deal lines.

-In Essex, 44 arrests were made and 12 deal lines were seized.

-In Kent, 28 arrests were made and 10 deal lines were seized.

-In Hertfordshire, 25 arrests were made and five deal lines were seized.

-In Norfolk, 43 vulnerable people were engaged with and five people were arrested.

-In Suffolk, 33 vulnerable people were engaged with and 29 people were arrested.