Police charge 11 and seize £100k of drugs in county lines crackdown (21 May 2019)

Police in West Yorkshire have arrested and charged 11 people and seized £100,000 of Class A drugs as part of a national County Lines crime crackdown.

Officers from West Yorkshire Police's Protective Services Crime played a significant part in a recent National Crime Agency County Lines intensification week after seizing significant amount of cash and drugs.

The national intensification week took place between May 13 and May 20, and in West Yorkshire officers undertook work to arrest suspects and also safeguard potential victims.

During the course of the week West Yorkshire saw 11 persons arrested across the county who have all been charged and remanded for drugs and modern slavery act offences. A vulnerable man and a vulnerable woman were also identified and safeguarded.

As part of the operation offices seized cocaine and cash to a value of £120,000.00 as well as a quantity of crack cocaine.

The West Yorkshire activity was carried out as part of the force's ongoing Programme of action against Serious and Organised Crime known as Programme Precision. That sees the Police, partners, 3rd sector organisation and the public come together to tackle serious organised crime within the force area.

This includes drugs and firearms offences, human trafficking and the exploitation of young people.

The force also continues to be heavily active with crime prevention activity in terms of schools inputs and work alongside partners such as St Giles trust.

Detective Superintendent Pat Twiggs, head of Serious and Organised Crime, said: "West Yorkshire Police are committed to tackling all forms of criminal exploitation including county lines through our ongoing work and activity under Programme Precision.

"During the recent national intensification week we deployed specialist officers and staff to tackle the issue head on and continue to develop our response and our understanding of this issue on a daily basis.

"We are currently monitoring a small number of organised crime groups whose activity centres around County Lines crime and regularly hold strategy and review meetings to plan action and coordinate our response with neighbouring forces.

"It must really be stressed that the sort of enforcement work we have carried out as part of the NCA week, is ongoing constantly here in West Yorkshire."

He added: "County Lines style organised crime is insidious and the effect on communities and the individuals caught up in this kind of crime can be devastating. We would urge anyone with information or concerns to contact West Yorkshire Police or the independent Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111".

Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), said: "This proactive work by West Yorkshire Police as part of a week of action to tackle serious and organised crime demonstrates just some of the work being done to catch criminals and safeguard some of our most vulnerable.

"The exploitation of young people, in many cases by organised criminal groups running 'County Lines' drug related crime has a hugely detrimental impact on many communities and this sort of focused partnership work is crucial in showing perpetrators of these crimes they have no place to hide and will be caught and dealt with."

© Copyright West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner 2019