Wednesday 21 February 2024
11 C
Nottingham

Police target county lines drugs gangs in Nottingham Station operation

Dozens of people were stopped and searched as part of an operation to prevent drugs gangs exploiting vulnerable young people.

Officers from Nottinghamshire Police and British Transport Police also engaged with a number of young people during the joint work to tackle county lines drug running.

Plain-clothed and uniformed officers were deployed throughout Nottingham railway station today in an attempt to catch people bringing drugs in or out of the city.

The teams operate in the city centre all year round and were looking for people who take drugs from the city to more rural destinations. Where possible they engage with young people to help them break free of the influence of the drug dealers who are exploiting them.

Detective Sergeant Joanne Eaton, from the force’s dedicated county lines team, said: “This is an operation we carry out on a regular basis because we know drug dealers will often use young, vulnerable people as part of their county lines operation to transit and traffic drugs between city centres using the rail network and train stations.

“When people are coming into Nottingham, they will have to come past our officers and we will be able to seize and take drugs off our streets.

“During the operation we had plain-clothed officers in attendance to watch how passengers reacted to the presence of uniformed colleagues.

“Several people were screened and had their bags searched to try and locate drugs and money.

“Today no arrests were made, but we did engage with young people, which is hugely important in our work to tackle county lines.

“During these regular operations, we not only seek to make arrests and recover drugs, but also look to identify and safeguard vulnerable young people who are potentially victims of criminal exploitation.”

British Transport Police county lines taskforce lead Detective Superintendent Gareth Williams said: “It’s vital we partner with our police colleagues on targeted operations to share information to disrupt the county lines drug supply business model.

“We proactively deploy on these operations across the UK on a daily basis to make the rail network a hostile environment for organised criminals to operate.

“A key aim of our dedicated team is to identify and safeguard vulnerable children and adults often exploited by these organised criminals to transport drugs and illicit cash between import and export locations.

“Alongside the Children’s Society, we’re urging everyone on the rail network to look closer for the signs of child exploitation, and report any concerns to us. This can be done by texting us on 61016 or calling 0800 40 50 40.”

To help protect children and young people from exploitation and abuse, don’t wait, report it.

Please report directly to the police by calling 101 in a non-emergency or 999 in an emergency, or if you are travelling on a train please text British Transport Police on 61016.

If you would rather remain anonymous, you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers online or call 0800 555 111 or visit: www.childrenssociety.org.uk/lookcloser