Forces team up to stop drug dealers in their tracks
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A joint operation targeting the use of the rail network to supply drugs in Kent resulted in arrests being made and weapons recovered.
Officers from Kent Police’s County Line and Gangs Team joined forces with British Transport Police to stop those suspected of bringing harmful substances into the county from other parts of the UK in their tracks.
The operation took place one day each week in June with plain-clothed patrols focusing their activity at railway stations in Chatham, Gillingham and Rochester.
Cash, drugs and knives
In total there were 10 arrests made, 12 mobile phones seized and four weapons recovered including two knives, a dagger and a screwdriver. Officers also seized around £2,400 in cash and 400 wraps of class A drugs.
Detective Superintendent Lopa McDermott of Kent Police said:
‘Criminals who supply class A drugs do not recognise county boundaries so it is essential that police forces work together to share information and prevent offenders transporting illegal substances from one location to another.‘We have a great relationship with British Transport Police and look forward to carrying out further operations of this nature in the future, letting drug suppliers know that we have our eyes and ears everywhere and will arrest them no matter how they make their way into our county.‘County line drug dealing is a vicious business and those involved think nothing of inflicting serious injury on their rivals with the use of knives and other offensive weapons, or on any other innocent members of the public who may get in their way. Tackling violent crime is one of the main themes of Kent Police’s Safer Summer initiative, and operations such as this help reinforce the message that we do not hesitate to take action against anyone who poses a risk to public safety.’
Detective Superintendent Gareth Williams, British Transport Police County Lines Task Force lead, said:
‘Getting to work closely with Kent Police over the last month has been a perfect way to consolidate our resources locally, for maximum impact. We set out together to disrupt the local county lines business model and demonstrate clearly to those who distribute illegal drugs, that we will arrest and charge offenders, seize commodities and remove the vulnerable people who are exploited from harm.‘I am very pleased that we have been successful in this regard. Drug dealing harms communities; it is exploitative, it disproportionately affects the vulnerable and it drives violence. We are dedicated to ensuring the rail network is a hostile environment for drug dealers and we will continue to do everything we can with partners to break supply lines, tackle organised criminality and keep the public safe.’
Click here for more information about county lines and here to read about Kent Police’s #SaferSummer initiative.