During the past week, a series of seizures and arrests were carried out in the East Midlands as part of a national intensification week, aimed at counteracting County Lines operations and the organised criminals running them. Drugs have been taken off the streets and vulnerable people have been safeguarded.
From Monday 9 October to Friday 15 October, joint operations were carried out by teams from the East Midlands Special Operation Unit (EMSOU) and officers in Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire and Nottinghamshire.
These efforts resulted in safeguarding measures being implemented for over 70 vulnerable people, along with the arrest of more than 120 individuals.
Numerous seizures took place throughout the week, including approximately £48,000 in cash, more than 55 weapons and over £220,000 worth of drugs. Additionally, 11 deal lines were closed across the region.
This year, EMSOU also joined forces with the Children’s Society and British Transport Police to promote awareness about County Lines practices and the indicators for identifying and safeguarding potential victims in the region.
The nationwide #LookCloser campaign was used across social media platforms to assist the public in recognising signs of exploitation. These ranged from children entering shops carrying lots of cash to possessing multiple phones and being accompanied by significantly older individuals. Furthermore, a call to action was extended to hotels to be vigilant in identifying suspicious behaviour that could be associated to County Lines.
Stuart Jones, EMSOU’s Vulnerability Coordinator for County Lines said: “Like any other region, the East Midlands faces the threat of organised criminals who exploit vulnerable individuals. Our commitment is to collaborate with our five forces and provide education to those operating in areas at risk of County Lines activities, ensuring the safety of our most vulnerable citizens.
“We achieved significant success in pursuing criminals and making seizures last week, and I’m especially pleased with the extensive awareness-raising efforts throughout the region, including support from professional football clubs.”
#LookCloser and call 101 to report your concerns, or text British Transport Police at 61016 when on trains. For anonymous reporting, contact Crimestoppers at 0800 555 111. In emergencies, always dial 999.