18 charged during investigation into county lines drug dealing in Harrogate

Eighteen people have been charged as part of an investigation into county lines drug dealing between Bradford and Harrogate.

North Yorkshire Police say tackling county lines drug dealing is a "major priority"

North Yorkshire Police say they are due to appear in court this month charged with conspiracy to supply class A drugs, after they were arrested as part of Operation Jackal.

Four of them have also been charged with human trafficking of young people.

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The suspects are due to appear at Harrogate Magistrates’ Court on October 7 and October 21.

North Yorkshire Police said they were charged after a “major policing operation” in 2020 which involved West Yorkshire Police, the Yorkshire and Humber Regional Organised Crime Unit, the National Crime Agency and the National County Lines Coordination Centre.

County line gangs are groups of drug dealers who sell to customers in rural areas using dedicated phone lines.

The force has previously said tackling this crime is a “major priority” and officers run “proactive, intelligence lead” operations, conduct high-profile targeted local patrols in areas where drug dealing is known to be a problem and use warrants to search properties.

Former children’s commissioner Anne Longfield recently set up a commission which is tasked with developing a national system that can prevent drug dealers and other criminals from exploiting children and coercing them into selling drugs.