Ten drugs lines disrupted and 50 people arrested in class A crackdown
A nine-month investigation centred in Leicester has led to more than £300,000 worth of class A drugs and £75,000 in cash being seized.
Over the last two weeks, officers have executed a significant number of warrants at addresses across the county in an attempt to disrupt the buying and selling of drugs – activity known as County Lines.
A total of 50 people have been arrested under the Misuse of Drugs Act, including a number of significant people who were believe to be controlling the “County Lines”.
Detective Chief Inspector Jim Hatton from Leicestershire Police’s Violence and Complex Crime Unit has led the operation from its start in April 2022.
He said: “After so many months of building the intelligence picture, to have such good results from the enforcement is incredibly satisfying.
“With 50 people arrested, and 30 now charged with drugs offences and going through the court system, they aren’t causing harm in the community, bringing drugs into the force area.
A number of others have also been dealt with by recall to prison, with some also released pending further investigation.”
Criminals from larger cities move to provincial areas, often into vulnerable people’s houses in order to take over their lives by establishing a drug supply criminal enterprise in that area.
This can have significant consequences for communities and vulnerable people whilst also raising crime and anti-social behaviour in the area.
The operation is following a ‘clear, hold, build’ strategy, a nationally recognised approach, giving us the best chance to arrest those offenders causing the most harm and who have a longer impact on the community.
Following the enforcement, neighbourhood officers will be carrying out proactive patrols in the areas most impacted following the enforcement.
DCI Hatton added: “Following the disruption of the lines, we are working with local organisations to get help for those who want it.
“Leicester City Council and Turning Point have been key in the work we’ve been doing, visiting offenders when we have them in custody and engaging with those who have been left without access to their drug supply, to help and support them to be able to kick their habits.”
Karen Manville, Leicester City Council's Head of Prevention and Safer Communities, said: “Bringing our internal teams together and working in partnership with Leicestershire Police is key to the success in making our city a safer and more vibrant place to live.
"Nicola Odom, Partnership and Service Development Manager, has led on our response to ensure a strong commitment to this piece of work. We are committed to continuing to work in partnership with sustainable long term outcomes."
Sarah Hancock-Smith, from Turning Point, said: “Through working in Partnership with Leicestershire Police, Turning Point will be working with and supporting vulnerable people who’ve found themselves in need of drug treatment following the removal of large amount of drugs from the streets of Leicester.
“Drugs being taken off the streets in enforcement like this what’s best for everyone in the community, but it does leave those reliant on their supplier vulnerable if the are unable to get their fix – that’s where we come in.
“Anyone who finds themselves needing support for drug or alcohol use can contact Turning Point on 0330 3036000 or visit Leicester | Turning Point (turning-point.co.uk)
Inspector Nadia Rana, the Neighbourhood Policing Area Commander for the city, said: “There will be a significant presence in the area over the coming weeks in order to remain vigilant to those who may still be attempting to sell drugs in our area – we will not stand for this.
“Drug dealing and the effect it has on the community is significant, and operations like this mean that those causing the harm are taken out of the community.”
This activity is supported by the Violence Reduction Network funding, funding from the National County Lines Coordination Centre and from the proceeds of crime, whereby our previous seizure of criminal assets by Leicestershire Police is utilised to protect our local communities, tackling those that cause the most harm and bring offenders to justice.