Humberside Police shut down major county lines drug gangs and make 68 arrests in huge country-wide operation

Humberside Police have shut down county line drug gangs and made nearly 70 arrests in a huge operation to stop crime lords flooding the streets of Yorkshire with heroin and cocaine.

Throughout April and May, officers from the force's organised crime unit carried out the arrest phase of a major operation to close down four county lines drugs gangs supplying class A and class B drugs across Yorkshire.

During 19 days of action across the two months, a total of 68 people were arrested including 49 men, 16 women and three youths.

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Of those arrested, 45 have since been charged with offences relating to the possession and supply of drugs, while police say they are confident more charges will follow.

Throughout April and May officers from Humberside Police’s Organised Crime Unit have carried out the arrest phase of a huge operation to close down four county lines drugs gangs supplying Class A and B drugs across Yorkshire.

The operation, which spanned the whole of the UK, involved 30 warrants served in Hull, Bradford and London.

These warrants recovered huge amounts of drugs including heroin, crack cocaine, spice, Valium and cannabis.

Detective Chief Inspector Simon Vickers said: "This has been a vast operation, taking months in the planning and gathering of intelligence and information.

“Our teams have, as a direct result of this operation, managed to dismantle four county lines and already secured guilty pleas from six men who were at the head of these crime groups and facilitated the supply of class A drugs.

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"The operation also identified elements of these gangs that had the propensity to use violence in order to expand their drug enterprises. This preventative approach resulted in weapons such as machetes and knives been taken off the streets negating there use.

“Importantly the operation also opened windows of opportunity for us together with the wider Community Safety Partnership to identify and safeguard vulnerable members of the community targeted by these gangs.

The operation tied in with the National County Lines Intensification Week, where a further 79 people were arrested across the Humberside Police force area and a large quantity of drugs were seized, along with £1300 of cash.

Detective Inspector Mark Catney from the Yorkshire and the Humber Regional Organised Crime Unit, said “Criminals are always changing their method of operation and will often move from location to location.

“I am delighted our partnership work with Humberside Police, the National Crime Agency and the other forces in the Region including the British Transport Police to make such a difference to local communities.”

As part of the operation, police also identified five properties where it is believed vulnerable occupiers were 'cuckooed' - this is where drug dealers target homes of the vulnerable to set up their empire.

Over 150 shops, hotels and post offices and taxi companies were visited and given information around county lines activity to heighten awareness and encourage reporting.