Fourteen arrests as police blitz County Lines drug dealing
- Credit: Ian Burt
Fourteen people have been arrested in Norfolk as part of a nationwide police crackdown on County Lines.
Forces across the UK ramped up their efforts last week against the increasingly prevalent form of drug dealing, which sees London dealers recruiting younger people and sending them to provincial communities to sell heroin and crack cocaine.
The Norfolk County Lines team, along with the county's Neighbourhood Policing Teams and British Transport Police, were among those to take part from May 17-21.
Of the 14 people arrested in Norfolk, four have since been charged with drug supply offences.
- Reece Checkley, 20, of no fixed address, arrested on Beccles Road in Gorleston on May 18.
- Shane Mason, 47, of no fixed address, arrested on Wroxham Road in Norwich on May 18.
- Ashley Youngman, 20, of Middleton Road, Gorleston, arrested on Middleton Road on May 19.
- Kelly Cornwall, 44 of Park Close, Wymondham, arrested in Old Palace Road in Norwich on May 20.
Shaun Plummer, 47, of Leman Road, Gorleston, was charged with possession of cocaine. He was arrested on St Benets Road in Gorleston on May 19.
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Two men have been released on police bail pending further enquiries, while seven more were released under investigation.
Detective Inspector Robin Windsor-Waite, who heads up the County Lines team in Norfolk, said: "Our focus is not limited to national intensification weeks; we have a team of specialist officers working around the clock monitoring county lines activity and tracking down the individuals who control the lines."
In addition to making arrests, Norwich's Neighbourhood Policing Teams worked alongside housing officers and Change Grow Live to conduct safeguarding visits at addresses occupied by adults vulnerable to coercion and cuckooing.
Norfolk's County Lines Team works alongside a specialist Metropolitan Team on Operation Orochi, established to help forces identify individuals who control lines from London.
Officers from Norfolk work with counterparts in the Met on joint investigations, before travelling to London to execute warrants where possible.
Since Op Orochi began in November 2019, the county's specialist team has charged and remanded 56 line controllers and shut down 36 County Lines.
Insp Windsor-Waite said: "Prior to Op Orochi, we had seen a steady rise in the number of county lines operating in the county.
"That trend has been reversed and the numbers are now falling dramatically. Norfolk is now the most hostile place for County Lines to operate, and we will be ruthless in our pursuit of those who control the lines."