(LONDON) MET County Lines Report: Officers closes more county lines than ever before in partnership with forces across the country on Monday morning #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Aug.10: Each county line closed was done so through a joint investigation with another UK police force. Working in partnership enables officers to tackle the line at both ends – at source where the line holder is located (in London) and in the county where the drugs ultimately end up.

#AceDailyNews reports that early morning warrants carried out to tackle county lines and since November 2019, a total of 527 lines have been closed, 1,045 individuals have been arrested, 1,642 charges have been achieved and 468 young or vulnerable people have been safeguarded…

[DAC McNulty and the Commissioner on an early morning warrant]

Through these investigations, 27 firearms (including 11 lethal barrelled) and 53 other dangerous weapons have been seized. More than half a million pounds in cash and more than £700,000 in criminal assets have been recovered.

In the early hours of this morning, Monday, 9 August, three more suspects believed to be involved in county lines were arrested in the Met’s latest piece of activity against drug supply.

One of these individuals was also arrested on suspicion of attempted murder in relation to a stabbing which occurred in a venue linked to a county line in Essex.

Officers from Surrey and Essex Police travelled to London and worked side by side with the Met on the operation. 

All three suspects have now been taken to police stations in the respective counties where they will be interviewed.

Warrants were carried out at the following locations:

  • Francis Avenue, IG1 – a 40-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder;
  • Waltheof Gardens, N17 – a 20-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs;
  • Scott Trimmer Way, TW3 – a 26-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs.

Since November 2019, the Met has carried out joint investigations with 23 other forces from Police Scotland to Devon and Cornwall. At this moment in time, there are still more than 200 live investigations in train with more being developed every day.

Tackling county lines at both ends has led to significant successes. It has not only enabled the focus of police activity to be on those at the centre of this drugs distribution model, it has also enabled forces with lines running into them to tackle the associated crime in their communities.

Due to the high quality of evidence created between two forces, the current guilty plea rate for being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs is approximately 90 per cent.

Over the last year, the Met has been further developing its approach to dismantling the county lines drug model. Officers have been increasing the use of modern day slavery legislation to charge those exploiting young and vulnerable people into drug supply with not only drug offences, but human trafficking offences too.

Since November 2019, 21 defendants have been charged with 38 slavery offences. Nine people have been convicted of human trafficking offences to date.

A new specialist team has also been developed within the Met, focused solely on ensuring county lines activity does not pay. Officers focus on removing any profit from line holders and their associates. Since inception in September 2020, this team has seized more than £3 million in criminal cash and assets. There are 99 live investigations still being carried out by this team.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Graham McNulty, who leads the Met’s response to County Lines, said: “For nearly two years now we have been driving forward a new approach to tackling county lines. We’ve put those coordinating these drug lines at the centre of our focus and have worked hard to cut off the supply at source: We’ve now arrested more than 1,000 people linked to county lines and achieved more than 1,500 charges for serious drug supply offences: We’ve never worked more closely with other forces on this issue, and our work over the past 18 months demonstrates the critical role these partnerships play. This remains an area of significant focus for us, and we will continue to develop our approach and adapt to whatever challenges we face in order to continue reducing the number of lines dealing drugs across the UK.”

Commissioner Cressida Dick, said: “One of the suspects arrested this morning was wanted for attempted murder linked to county lines activity. It could not be clearer that county lines brings with it serious violence and harm to communities not just within London, but across the country: Reducing violent crime across London is the focus of every officer and member of staff in the Met. Cases like this clearly demonstrate why reducing the availability and supply of drugs across the capital is crucial in tackling violence on the streets: Whilst we have seen significant success in this area, we are never complacent. We are always looking at how we remain one step ahead. Wherever possible we are increasing the consequences for those intent on supplying drugs and committing acts of violence: Our recent use of modern day slavery legislation against those exploiting young and vulnerable people has resulted in significant custodial sentences. This type of conviction also enables us to place tight restrictions on these individuals once they are released from prison: We’re also looking really closely at how we ensure those involved in county lines do not make a penny from it. They cannot profit from the misery they cause to the most vulnerable in our society and the wider public.”

Home Secretary Priti Patel, said: “Drugs are a scourge that spread violence, crime and misery throughout our towns and cities: Today’s operation is the result of the Government’s crackdown on country line drug gangs and targeted law enforcement work by the Metropolitan Police to arrest vile criminals who will stop at nothing in their exploitation of the vulnerable to peddle drugs and destroy lives: Our nation wide action to crackdown on county lines drugs gangs has rolled up across the country over 1,100 drug lines destroyed and more than 6,300 arrests: Crime is falling but I will always give the police the powers and tools they need to protect the public by destroying criminal activity and cutting crime.”

#AceNewsDesk report ………Published: Aug.09: 2021:

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