County Lines: sixteen arrested in dawn raids

Sixteen people have been arrested in a major cross-border crackdown on ‘county lines’ drug gangs led by North Wales Police.

Dawn raids took place on Anglesey on Thursday (5th September) as part of ‘Operation Tide’. More than 300 officers from three forces searched 24 properties in Liverpool, North Wales and parts of Scotland.

Detectives said they were targeting ‘serious and organised’ criminals supplying heroin and crack cocaine in the region.

Seven men and two women from Merseyside are being questioned along with four men and two women from North Wales and another man from Dumfries.

The suspects are being held for various offences including conspiracy to supply controlled drugs and money laundering. A number of ‘unspecified’ items were also seized during the raids.

Superintendent Mark Pierce from North Wales Police said: ”Over the last few months, local communities will have seen our determination to address their concerns by making successful arrests. This is a continuation of that process and another example of our listening to, and acting on intelligence.”

”Distribution of controlled drugs will not be tolerated and we will continue to take positive, robust action, however we can’t tackle this alone and key to all our work is intelligence. I cannot emphasise enough the importance of the community sharing their concerns with us.”

”Sometimes that takes a little time to turn into visible action so please bear with us. We are listening and we will act when the time is right.”

It’s understood seven of the search warrants took place in North Wales, including parts of Flintshire and Conwy county.

Superintendent Diane Pownall from Merseyside Police added: ”The criminal exploitation of young people and vulnerable adults…which is undertaken by serious organised crime groups, is wholly unacceptable and we need to ensure we are doing everything we can to stop this abhorrent criminal practice and protect those who are being targeted and used by crime groups to do their bidding. By working together, forces can make a real and tangible difference.”

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