Merseyside Police make 68 county lines arrests

Working alongside other forces and partners, Merseyside Police carried out activity during County Lines Intensification Week, as part of regional and national action to tackle the issue.

Co-ordinated by the force’s Project Medusa team, the intensification week (which ran from 11-17 October) included operations, warrants, visits to vulnerable people and saw our officers travel to North Wales, Shropshire, Cheshire and Cumbria. 

Merseyside Police has confirmed that during the week of action:

  • 68 arrests were made for offences including drugs supply and possession, and possession of weapons
  • During warrants and other activity, seven kilos of Class A drugs were seized and 18 kilos of cannabis recovered 
  • £123,480 in cash was recovered
  • Officers recovered 11 weapons, including a machete and a knuckle duster
  • Just under 1600 children were spoken to about the issue of County Lines
  • A total of six County Lines were closed 

Some of the notable activity is below: 

Monday

  • Working with colleagues in North Wales and Hampshire, officers carried out search warrants in Liverpool, which resulted in the arrest and charge of a 19-year-old man for two counts of being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs

Tuesday

  • A 33-year-old man was arrested and charged with two counts of being concerned in the supply of crack cocaine and heroin after he was arrested in a car travelling from North Wales. A quantity of what is thought to be Class A was also recovered from the car
  • An open land search of Court Hey Park was carried out and officers recovered large, spiked pole

Wednesday 

  • A 49-year-old man was charged with two counts of possession with intent to supply Class A, following a search of a property in Huyton by colleagues from Cheshire Police, where a large quantity of Class A drugs was also recovered
  • A second man was arrested as he travelled by from Hull – the 51-year-old was later charged with possession of criminal property and possession of Class A drugs. Officers also recovered a large quantity of cash and heroin during this investigation

Thursday

  • During a search of a property in Kirkby, officers recovered a crossbow, knuckle duster and a machete
  • Officers worked with partners from Border force, National Crime Agency, Immigration and RSPCA at the ferry terminal to make proactive stopes of vehicles and foot passengers travelling into Merseyside

Friday

  • Project Medusa deployed officers into Shrewsbury, and working with the local force, they carried out patrols on foot and in both marked and unmarked cars, in and around busy travel routes, on the hunt for those involved in moving, dealing and selling drugs
  • Officers deployed to Lime Street police station to look for named offenders, as well as deter those who may be moving people, drugs, and money via the rail network

Throughout the week, officers visited addresses across Merseyside, with Local Authority partners, suspected of being used for cuckooing.  A number of tenants were safeguarded as a result.

A large number of school children were visited by officers and partners across the force, to discuss how to spot if someone is being exploited by County Lines criminals and how they can get help. 

Detective Superintendent Andy O’Connor said, “This week’s activity is just a snapshot of the work Project Medusa and officers across the force do, day in day out to tackle County Lines. 

“As a force we are committed to working alongside partners and other forces to cut these County Lines, protect and safeguard vulnerable people. We will relentlessly target those crime groups who cowardly exploit vulnerable people in our communities.

“Through Project Medusa, we work with other forces, BTP and local authorities and agencies to target offenders and protect victims. Since Project Medusa began its work in 2019, officers have made more than 1200 arrests, closed over 370 County Lines, recovered £1.3 million in cash and removed around 50KG of cocaine and heroin from our streets.

“We cannot stop this criminality alone, we need to continue our work with partners and we need the public’s help. It’s vital that everyone who cares for or knows young and vulnerable people understands the issue and knows the warning signs.”

Read more here about the Eyes Open campaign, introduced by Merseyside Violence Reduction Partnership: https://www.eyes-open.co.uk

You can also report any concerns to police on 999 if a crime is in progress, via 101, or our social media desk via Twitter @MerPolCC.

You can also pass information via the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously, on 0800 555 111 or via their online form at: https://crimestoppers-uk.org

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