A major county lines drug operation carried out at the crack of dawn saw police arrest three suspects and seize suspected Class A drugs, cash, mobile phones and drug paraphernalia as officers looked to take an organised criminal ring out of action.
In the small hours of this morning police teams lined up to simultaneously swoop on three properties in Arnold and two others in Bestwood and Mansfield (Thursday 29 July 2021).
The coordinated raids resulted in three men, aged 20, 22 and 26, being arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.
The successful operation targeted and disrupted an established drug supply network run from Arnold involving the exploitation of children to sell Class A drugs and to carry and use weapons in support of their criminal activities.
It is believed the county lines enterprise was exporting drugs into the Ilkeston area of Derbyshire.
County lines is a term used to describe urban gangs supplying drugs to other parts of the UK using dedicated mobile phone lines. The gangs are likely to exploit children or vulnerable adults to move and store drugs and they will often use violence and coercion.
This is a national issue and Nottinghamshire Police has been working to identify criminal gangs; protect vulnerable people at risk of exploitation and carry out enforcement and disruption activity targeting those who pose the most risk to the local community.
Today’s positive enforcement activity involved the force’s dedicated county lines team, CID, Operation Reacher and Gedling neighbourhood policing teams all working together.
Warrants were carried out at properties in Edison Way, Thrapstone Avenue and Bond Street in Arnold, Longfellows Drive in Bestwood and Redruth Drive in Mansfield.
Inspector Chris Pearson, Gedling borough commander, said: “Today’s positive results are thanks to several months’ hard work carried out by our teams to crack down on a county lines enterprise and those involved as well as safeguarding vulnerable young people being preyed upon and exploited to sell drugs.
“Our message is clear, if you’re a drug dealer in Nottinghamshire and you are looking to recruit and exploit the vulnerable to profit financially we will use every tactic available to us to locate, enforce and prosecute you.
“Drugs blight our communities and ruin people’s lives which is why we are working tirelessly to target and disrupt offenders involved in the supply of drugs in our communities.
“Drug supply is a policing priority in the Gedling borough. We are committed to tackling this issue which has included carrying out more than 50 warrants across the borough in the last 18 months.
“This activity has been on the back of information received from members of the public and I’d encourage anyone with concerns or suspicions about drug use and supply in their area to please call us.
“I hope the positive impact and results we’re achieving reassures the public of our commitment to making our streets safer and that we’re listening to their concerns and taking action to tackle them.”
Gedling Borough Council leader John Clarke said: “County lines operations like these ruin lives, it’s as simple as that. Criminals take advantage of young and vulnerable people and profit from their crimes, and we will not stand by and let it happen.
“A key priority for Gedling Borough Council is to make our communities safer for residents. We are working collaboratively with the police on these operations to reduce crime and antisocial behaviour and will continue to do so in order to get to a place where people can enjoy where they live.
“I’d like to thank Nottinghamshire Police for their excellent work on this operation and for helping to keep our streets safe and for safeguarding our residents.”
Detective Inspector Nikki Smith, the force’s county lines lead, added: “As a force we are determined to make Nottinghamshire a hostile place for criminals involved in county lines which exploits some of the most vulnerable people in our communities.
“We know county lines activity is closely linked to violence and organised crime on our streets.
“We are working all year round to tackle this issue and bring offenders to justice as well as keeping people safe and safeguarding young people at risk of criminal exploitation.
“I’d like to reassure people that we will continue to target county lines operators and bring them to justice to make our streets safer.
“Members of the public can also help us achieve this by reporting any suspicious activity to us.
“Information we receive is always treated confidentially, carefully assessed and prioritised so we can take appropriate action.”
Anyone who has concerns or sees anything suspicious is urged to report directly to Nottinghamshire Police by calling 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. In an emergency call 999.
For more information please visit: https://www.nottinghamshire.police.uk/advice/county-lines