(LONDON) JUST IN: MET County Lines Report: Officers investigating the exploitation of children have carried out early morning raids on Thursday #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – June18: On Thursday, 17 June, officers from Met’s Central Specialist Crime, along with officers from North East Command, led an operation that focused on the disruption of a suspected organised crime network operating in east London.

MET Central Specialist Crime Commnad Officers have arrested eight in an operation to tackle County Lines: Four east London addresses were targeted simultaneously, three in Ilford and one in Newham, alongside the production of two men already in prison.

[Image of seized cash]

[Image of seized cash]

A total of seven men and one woman were arrested, aged between 19 and 56 years old, on suspicion of offences including conspiracy to supply Class A drugs, modern slavery and human trafficking.

Searches at the addresses continue but officers have so far seized a large quantity of cash and Class B drugs. 

The investigation was launched in October 2020 after officers identified a ring of people involved in widespread drug supply across east London and Essex. One suspect was identified as operating the activity from inside prison.

The early stages of the investigation led officers to discover children at risk from an organised crime group. The operation has so far resulted in more than 10 children being rescued from the control of the group with this number expected to increase throughout the course of the investigation. They have been appropriately safeguarded and are currently being looked after by specialist officers.

Detective Inspector Laura Hillier, from Specialist Crime, said: “This morning’s activity is a culmination of months of hard work by officers from the Modern Slavery and Child Exploitation unit. The operation has focused on rescuing children and vulnerable people who had no option but to do as they were told through fear of violence from those controlling them: We know county lines activity is closely linked to violence that we see on the streets of London and in other parts of the United Kingdom. Not only have we rescued children from violence and exploitation, but by disrupting this drug supply line we’ve destroyed the business model of this group and hopefully prevented further criminality. ………All those arrested have been taken to east London police stations.

+ Do you have information about drug crime? If you have information that could help keep your community safe, but don’t want to speak to police, please contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. They do not ask your name and cannot trace your call or I.P address.

Any young people who have information about drug dealing or want information about the consequences of drug crime, can visit Fearless to where they can pass on information anonymously – your I.P address will not be traced. Fearless is part of the Crimestoppers charity, and is also independent of the police.

Hard calls save lives. Are you close to someone on the fringes of violence or drug crime? Do the right thing, please give information, 100 per cent anonymously, through the independent charity Crimestoppers.

No piece of information about violent crime is insignificant or too small. Any information you give to Crimestoppers can make a difference in reducing knife crime and the harm it causes to families.

#AceNewsDesk report ……….Published: Jun.18: 2021:

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#county-lines, #london, #met