North Wales Police have released a video of officers working with the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit in a joint operation targeting County Lines drug dealers in Bangor.
The aim was to disrupt the supply of class A drugs, as well as other criminal behaviour. During the operation suspect vehicles were stopped and searched and if necessary were seized by police.
Stop and searches were undertaken and properties were also searched. Arrests were made a quantity of class A drugs were recovered including heroin and crack cocaine, a considerable amount of cash was also seized.
Since March 2019 Bangor police officers have detected 65 drug offences and made over 75 arrests, including 17 county line drug offences.
Seizing 545 wraps of heroin and cocaine worth in excess of £10,000 and recovered £10,000 in cash. Police have also operated 20 ‘anti-cuckooing’ campaigns and served 10 closure notices on domestic properties.
Police are continuing to work with the council and other partners to tackle city centre crime and anti-social behaviour.
‘County Lines’ is a term used when drug gangs from big cities expand their operations to smaller towns, often using violence to drive out local dealers and exploiting children and vulnerable people to sell drugs.
These dealers will use dedicated mobile phone lines, known as ‘deal lines’, to take orders from drug users. Heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine are the most common drugs being supplied and ordered. In most instances, the users or customers will live in a different area to where the dealers and networks are based, so drug runners are needed to transport the drugs and collect payment.
A common feature in county lines drug supply is the exploitation of young and vulnerable people. The dealers will frequently target children and adults – often with mental health or addiction problems – to act as drug runners or move cash so they can stay under the radar of law enforcement.
In some cases the dealers will take over a local property, normally belonging to a vulnerable person, and use it to operate their criminal activity from. This is known as cuckooing.
People exploited in this way will quite often be exposed to physical, mental and sexual abuse, and in some instances will be trafficked to areas a long way from home as part of the network’s drug dealing business.
If you have any information about drug dealing or county lines please call North Wales Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111
— HGC / NWP Bangor (@NWPBangor) September 10, 2019