Drugs intercepted and a car seized as BTP cracks down on County Lines activity in the South West
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A 20-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply Class A drugs at Bournemouth station as BTP teamed up with its police colleagues to disrupt the County Lines business model in the south west of England.
It was one of five arrests made between 23 August and 27 August as BTP’s dedicated County Lines Taskforce deployed in the region across five days of enhanced operations.
Their aim was to intercept harmful drugs arriving via the railway network before they reached local communities.
In the five-day period, officers took part in four operations, seizing one vehicle, nine phones, Class A and B drugs, and £6,000 in cash.
The operations saw drugs dogs and officers from BTP’s Taskforce, both uniformed and plain-clothed, deployed to key train routes and stations across the south west of England.
Locations targeted included Bournemouth, Bristol and Weymouth, with a focus on direct train routes to larger cities across England which are often drug export locations.
BTP County Lines Taskforce lead, Detective Superintendent Gareth Williams, said: “These results are testament to the successful partnership working with our policing colleagues in the region.
“Intelligence sharing is key to disrupting the County Lines business model and, importantly, identifying and safeguarding those being exploited by these criminals to move their harmful commodities across the UK.
“We will tackle this crime type alongside our policing partners wherever it occurs, ensuring drugs are intercepted before they reach communities.”
The operations formed part BTP’s County Lines Taskforce’s year-round efforts to make the railway a hostile environment for organised criminals to move drugs and illicit cash across the UK.
A key aim of the team is to identify and safeguard vulnerable children and adults often exploited by these organised criminals to transport the drugs and cash between import and export locations.
Since the Taskforce was setup with Home Office funding in December 2019, it has arrested 1,436 people, seized 780 lots of drugs and £536k in cash and removed 285 dangerous weapons from the railway. It has also referred 79 individuals to the national referral mechanism for safeguarding.