Dawn raids in Solihull in County Lines crackdown - The Solihull Observer

Dawn raids in Solihull in County Lines crackdown

Solihull Editorial 24th May, 2023   0

ARRESTS have been made and drugs cash and phones have been seized across Solihull and Birmingham in a string of dawn raids.

West Midlands Police County Lines Taskforce made nine arrests on May 23 for drug supply offences, the largest operation undertaken since the taskforce was set up a year ago.

A total of 16 warrants were executed at properties across the region with one outside the force area, just after dawn, with more than 200 police officers deployed to ensure the properties were targeted simultaneously.

The operation has targeted four drugs lines which take over 1,000 calls per day and service more than 200 drug users of class A heroin and crack cocaine.

The revenue from this is estimated to be between £18,000 and £20,000 per day – that’s up to a staggering £100,000 per week.

West Midlands Police then conducted searches of each property as the eight men and one woman, aged from 19 to 35, were detained in custody.

The force’s Chief Constable Craig Guildford accompanied officers executing one of the warrants in Ward End Park Road.

He said: “This operation has been really successful and we’ve got people in custody.

“The most important thing is we’ve responded to local intelligence and we are determined to tackle the scourge of County Lines.

“What’s behind these lines is vulnerable people who are sent to do that trade, so we are trying to prevent them from entering that criminality, but more importantly we are gathering evidence around those higher up the chain – they cause communities misery.

“County Lines fuels serious and organised crime, such as knife crime, burglary and robbery, and we intend to bear down on it.”

West Midlands Police said it is working with Change Grow Live (CGL) and Solihull Integrated Addition Services (SIAS) to provide immediate and long-term support to those reliant on drug lines to let them know where to access that support.

The warrants come just as the force has launched Operation Target, which sees West Midlands Police taking a defiant stand against a range of serious and organised crime offences from drug dealing and burglary, to cyber-crime and fraud.

The County Lines Taskforce is a three-year project funded by the Home Office.

Crime and Policing minister Chris Philp said: “County lines drug trafficking is a vile form of criminality that uses intimidation and violence to force vulnerable people and children to do a gang’s dirty work.

“I commend West Midlands Police for their relentless efforts removing these awful individuals from our streets.

“Our County Lines Programme is delivering clear successes in the fight against this exploitative trade and we in government are steadfast in our support to police to stop these heinous crimes.”


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