Suffolk takes part in County Lines week of action
Suffolk Constabulary has taken part in a national week of action* against the on-going threat of County Lines.
During the week, Suffolk Constabulary along with other forces conducted arrests and warrants, organising dedicated patrols, and gathering intelligence across the county to ensure that the force continues to make Suffolk a hostile environment for criminals to operate in.
As part of the week of action officers made 24 arrests for a variety of offences as part of the week’s efforts.
Additionally, the force conducted a wide number of welfare and safeguarding visits to a number of properties, including 10 across Ipswich. These locations have historically been vulnerable to the problems of ‘cuckooing’ where drug dealers befriend or extort a vulnerable person and takes over their property to sell drugs from.
Among the highlights was a warrant conducted in Ipswich where two men were arrested in 15 May in Alderman Park in the town on suspicion with intent to supply after being searched under the misuse of drugs act. A quantity of class A drugs were located on one suspect, including 26 wraps of heroin and 24 wraps of cocaine (images below). Both men were taken to Martlesham Police Investigation Centre for questioning. An 18 year old male and 16 year old male was released under investigation pending further enquiries.
Elsewhere, at a premises on Montgomery Road in the town officers also recovered over 20 wraps of suspected class A drugs as well as a quantity of cannabis. A 36 year old woman was arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of drugs, an 18 year old male was also arrested for being concerned in the supply of drugs and a 16 year old male was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply. All three were release under investigation pending further enquiries.
Also in Ipswich officers conducted a search of a premises in Woodbridge Road recovering a quantity of Class A drugs, two knives, a large amount of cash and mobile phones. (images below) Officers arrested one male and two females all on suspicion of possession with intent to supply. A 47 year old man, a 21 year old woman and a 17 year old woman were all released under investigation pending further enquiries.
Elsewhere in Bury St Edmunds on Friday 17 May police searched a vehicle and recovered 186 wraps of suspected class A drugs, as well as a further quantity of uncut suspected class A drugs, a large quantity of cash and two mobile phones. An 18-year-old man was arrested and subsequently charged with two counts of possession with intent to supply class A drugs and possession of criminal property, namely a quantity of cash. Naseem Edwards, of Winchelsea Road in London, appeared before Ipswich Magistrates’ Court on Saturday 18 May where he was remanded in custody pending an appearance at Ipswich Crown Court on 14 June. A 49-year-old-man from London was also arrested at the scene on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of a controlled drug. He has been released under investigation pending further enquiries.
Two people in Newmarket were arrested following a search of a vehicle in the town. A search recovered 21 wraps of class A drugs, mobile phone and cash as well as drug paraphernalia. 36 year old Kayode Braithwaite of Manderston Road, Newmarket was charged with two counts of possession of drugs with intent to supply. 30 year old Luke Cato of Stocksfield Road in London was charged with two counts of possession of class A drugs with intent to supply.
County Policing Commander Chief Supt Tonya Antonis said: "We have conducted some very positive disruption in Suffolk over the past week but it is important people understand thatalthough the past week saw more dedicated activity, we need to recognise that that our work to address the issue of ‘county lines’ and drug supply is something we tackle all year round.
"While the scourge of county lines is a national problem we will continue to do all we can in identifying and bringing to justice those intent on committing drug related crime in our county and in doing so protecting the vulnerable and our communities.”
Tim Passmore, Police and Crime Commissioner for Suffolk, said: "This is exactly what we want to see - great proactive work by the Constabulary to protect us from the on-going threat of County Lines.
"This Illegal drugs trade and associated criminal activity is one of the biggest threats we face in the county. I am very proud to see the impact Suffolk Constabulary – working with the National Crime Agency and neighbouring police forces – is having to bring these criminals to justice.
"Sadly, County Lines are impacting on communities right across the county and we need to work together urgently to fight this. I would echo the Constabulary’s plea to anyone who notices anything untoward to contact the Constabulary or Crimestoppers.”
We all have a role to play in keeping our local areas safe from drug dealing, and associated gang exploitation and violence.
If you suspect drug dealing is taking place or you are concerned that a young person or vulnerable adult may have been targeted by an organised crime group, please tell us. You don’t have to be certain, just concerned.
Call us on 101 or if you prefer you can contact Crimestoppers to report anonymously – online or by calling 0800 555 111.
If someone is in immediate danger or a crime is taking place you should always dial 999.
County lines is a term used to describe gangs and organised criminal networks involved in exporting illegal drugs within the UK. The gang establishes a drug market in a rural town, with origins to an urban city location with mobile phones frequently used to facilitate the drug deals. They are likely to exploit children and vulnerable adults to move and store the drugs and money and they will often use coercion, intimidation, violence and weapons.
*Last week’s activity (13 -19 May) was coordinated by the National County Lines Coordination Centre set up by the National Crime Agency and NPCC