Warwick Safer Neighbourhood Team engage with local community to help tackle county lines drug dealing
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Last week the Warwick Safer Neighbourhood Team were out and about in the community engaging with the public and raising awareness of county lines drug dealing.
County Lines is the term used to describe a form of organised crime where criminals based in larger towns and cities pressurise vulnerable people and children to transport, store and sell drugs in smaller county towns. They will often use coercion, intimidation, violence and weapons.
As part of the week, officers conducted high visibility foot patrols in areas that have been identified as having higher levels of drug-related activity and also offered local residents an opportunity to discuss any issues or concerns they had on a range of issues including county lines, at a mobile police station located on Sainsbury’s carpark, Saltisford, Warwick.
Information and guidance was also provided to particularly vulnerable members of the community who may be vulnerable to drug use and/or exploitation around where to go for help and what support and services are available.
Officers also delivered leaflets to a number of properties highlighting what signs to look for and be aware of in relation to county lines, and how information can be reported to Warwickshire Police or Crimestoppers.
Following intelligence received from the local community, a warrant was also executed at an address on Woodloes Avenue South in Warwick on Wednesday, 16 December in which a cannabis farm was discovered. Around 80 cannabis plants were seized and a 29-year-old man from Albania was arrested on suspicion of Production or being concerned in production of a controlled drug. He has been released under investigation while enquiries continue.
Sergeant Danielle Bristow from Warwick Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) said: “Last week was an opportunity for our SNT officers to really engage with our communities and offer reassurance that we remain committed to tackling county lines drug dealing in Warwick.
“The misery drugs can cause is well known not just to those who take them but to those in the local community as well. County lines drug dealers prey on vulnerable members of our community addicted to illicit drugs. They show no regard for these very vulnerable individuals or to the misery and devastation that these drugs can cause.
"Our priority is to therefore keep our local communities safe and we will do everything we can to achieve this including proactively targeting those people we believe to be involved in drugs and using the powers we have to make sure their activity is disrupted.
“Enforcement alone cannot tackle the issue however which is why we are working closely with our partners and local communities to raise awareness and educate people around what they can do if they suspect someone is involved.”
If anyone has any information in relation to the supply of drug dealing within their community, they are urged to contact police. Suspicious behaviour can be reported on the Warwickshire Police website or via 101. In an emergency, always call 99.
If you’d like to report information anonymously, please call the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or visit their website.
Issued: LK, Corporate Communications