Police and transport officers join forces in County Lines investigation

Police and transport officers join forces in County Lines investigation

by Danielle Thompson (July 2020)

OFFICERS from Merseyside Police and British Transport Police joined forces to tackle county lines drug supply on our roads and railway lines last week.

On July 21, Crime and Policing Minister Kit Malthouse also paid a visit to Liverpool Lime Street station to join officers during the operation, which saw them crack down on County Lines Organised Crime Groups (OCGs) responsible for cross border drugs supply and the criminal exploitation of young and vulnerable people.

Project Medusa is a Merseyside led initiative which saw 26 officers deployed to carry out policing activity at various train stations across Merseyside, and ten dedicated officers from the Roads Policing Unit patrolled city roads and used ANPR checks to target those involved in wholesale County Lines drug supply and exploitation. The project is supported by Home Office funding, which is part of a wider £20 million County Lines programme in 2020/21.

It comes following two days of policing activity earlier this month together with Cheshire Police and Greater Manchester Police, which saw a further 228 people stop searched and 13 arrested for offences including drug supply, across major transport links in Liverpool, Southport, Kirkby and Wigan.

The police were also joined by Catch22, who are there for any young people immediately following a stop or arrest, offering long-term support to exit County Lines.

In total, the operation saw 75 stop searches carried out and five people arrested for various offences, including drug driving and breach of a harassment order. In addition to this, three safeguarding referrals were made and over 70 vehicle checks were conducted.

Crime and Policing Minister Kit Malthouse said: “It was hugely impressive to see first-hand Merseyside Police’s work to tackle county lines, including their targeting of road and rail networks used by drug dealers. This is a crucial part of our wider £25million investment in measures to protect communities from ruthless criminal gangs. Merseyside and police forces across the country have our full backing in cracking down on this pernicious threat.”

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