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County lines operation in Stratford hailed a success

An operation to target county lines drug crime in Stratford has been hailed a success.

County lines crime is a term used to describe gangs transporting drugs from bigger cities into smaller towns. This is a national problem involving drug gangs operating from cities including Birmingham, London, Manchester and Liverpool.

Operation Cerberus was launched in December 2017 to tackle county lines crime following a number of incidents linked to the supply of drugs in the town.Op Cerberus Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window
Op Cerberus

Successes from Operation Cerberus include:

•    The execution of 14 warrants under the Misuse of Drugs Act and numerous days of partner-supported disruption
•    21 people arrested across 6 differing lines of drug supply linked into Leicestershire, Wolverhampton, Birmingham, London, Coventry and Liverpool.
•    Class A drugs seized with estimated street value of over £30,000+
•    No reported drug-related serious violence in Stratford District since inception of Cerberus.
•    A number of cases linked to the operation are currently going through the court process.

Inspector Simon Ryan, Safer Neighbourhood lead for Stratford, said: "The operation was launched last December, following an incident in the town believed to be linked to county lines.Op Cerberus 2
Op Cerberus 2

"Since then, we've been doing a lot of work behind the scenes and I'm pleased to say a recent risk assessment has shown the town has become a lot more hostile to these types of criminals.

"Whilst we have had a huge impact on drugs supply in the Stratford area and some real success around these organised criminal groups, we won't stop focussing on county lines crime in our town. Perhaps the main success from these operations is the improved intelligence picture that has allowed us to identify those involved in county lines drug dealing and the vulnerable people they prey on.Op Cerberus 3 Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window
Op Cerberus 3

"Tackling county lines crime has become part of day-to-day business for the safer neighbourhood team, and we will continue to identify and disrupt organised drug criminality across Stratford district. We are using intelligence gained to protect vulnerable people who are targeted by county lines criminals and disrupt the activity of those who continue to try to deal drugs.

"We continue to listen to our communities and aspire to drive out those who are causing the most harm."

Warwickshire Police's Protect campaign was started to tackle serious and organised crime in the county and the harm it causes.

Our broad-ranging campaign comprises four key areas of activity:
•    Pursue - prosecuting and disrupting those involved in SOC
•    Prevent - stopping individuals from becoming involved in SOC
•    Protect - increased levels of protection against SOC
•    Prepare - reducing the impact of SOC where it occurs

For more information go to

If you have concerns about the use or supply of drugs you can report it on 101. Alternatively, information can be provided anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Issued: 4.35pm, Tuesday 11 December, HCB, Corporate Communications

Published 11/12/18