Individuals 'unofficially residing at address' removed by police working on drugs operation
PUBLISHED: 09:56 24 January 2019 | UPDATED: 10:08 24 January 2019
Police removed individuals who were unofficially residing at a house in west Suffolk following concern for the welfare of a woman.
Officers, working with other agencies, attended a home in Newmarket on Friday, January 18 under Operation Velocity – which targets “county lines” drug dealers who travel from major cities to ply their trade in rural areas.
No arrests were made but police removed the people who had started living at the woman’s address.
County lines often means a gang of at least three people with origins to a city location, such as London, establishing a market in Suffolk towns such as Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds and Lowestoft.
Mobile phones are frequently used to facilitate the drug deals by professional and experienced gangs.
Vulnerable adults and young people are frequently being used and in some cases, dealers take over the property of a vulnerable person and use it as a place from which to run their drugs business – known as ‘cuckooing’.
The vulnerable people could be drug users, addicts, young people or people with mental ill health.
MORE: Drug busts up a third as force seizes more crack than any outside the Met
Suffolk police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore has said the issue is the “biggest threat without question facing Suffolk at the moment” and has urged all public sector leaders to work together to tackle the issue.
Operation Velocity – which targets drug dealers and supports the vulnerable/young people who are being exploited – also provides the opportunity for the force to work with partner agencies so that there is joint impetus on addressing the problem from a long-term perspective.
Three county line drug dealers, who were part of a supply ring which sold large quantities of heroin and cocaine in the Ipswich and Felixstowe areas, were given jail sentences totalling 30 years in September 2018.
A spokeswoman for Suffolk police urged local communities to report any suspicious activity.
“We will continue to pursue, disrupt and arrest those people, as well as constantly gathering intelligence that members of the public provide and for which we are grateful for,” she said. “Our local communities have an important role to play helping us.
“If you know of suspicious activity taking place in your area let us know using the 101 number and we will respond, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.”