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24 arrests made in Suffolk during national county lines crack down

PUBLISHED: 19:17 21 May 2019 | UPDATED: 20:13 21 May 2019

Weapons, money and drugs were seized from a property in Ipswich during the crack down. Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

Weapons, money and drugs were seized from a property in Ipswich during the crack down. Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

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Suffolk police have taken part in a national crack down against the on-going threat of County Lines arresting 24 people and seizing over 250 wraps of suspected Class A drugs.

Officers from Suffolk police carrying out a previous drug raid in Ipswich Picture: KAREN WILLIEOfficers from Suffolk police carrying out a previous drug raid in Ipswich Picture: KAREN WILLIE

During the week, Suffolk Constabulary along with other forces conducted arrests and warrants, organising dedicated patrols, and gathering intelligence across the county.

Officers conducted a wide number of welfare and safeguarding visits to a number of properties, including 10 across Ipswich.

These locations have historically been vulnerable to the problems of 'cuckooing' where drug dealers befriend or extort a vulnerable person and takes over their property to sell drugs from.

County Policing Commander Chief Supt Tonya Antonis said: "We have conducted some very positive disruption in Suffolk over the past week.

"While the scourge of county lines is a national problem we will continue to do all we can in identifying and bringing to justice those intent on committing drug related crime in our county and in doing so protecting the vulnerable and our communities."

Tim Passmore, Police and Crime Commissioner for Suffolk, said: "This is exactly what we want to see - great proactive work by the Constabulary to protect us from the on-going threat of County Lines.

"This Illegal drugs trade and associated criminal activity is one of the biggest threats we face in the county.

"I am very proud to see the impact Suffolk Constabulary - working with the National Crime Agency and neighbouring police forces - is having to bring these criminals to justice.

"I would echo the Constabulary's plea to anyone who notices anything untoward to contact the Constabulary or Crimestoppers."

Many of the vulnerable people exploited in County Lines groups are children and the NSPCC want reinforce their point that those manipulated to help are victims.

A spokesperson said: "Young people involved in 'county lines' are often coerced into taking huge risks moving drugs and weapons for the benefit of others, and can face serious punishments and repercussions if caught.

"We must be clear that young people who are criminally exploited are victims of child trafficking, and need access to appropriate support to ensure their safety

Amongst the raids carried out by the force were:

- A warrant conducted in Ipswich where two men were arrested in the Alderman Park area on suspicion with intent to supply. A quantity of class A drugs were located on one suspect, including 26 wraps of heroin and 24 wraps of cocaine. Two were taken to Martlesham Police Investigation Centre for questioning and an 18 year old male and 16 year old male was released under investigation pending further enquiries.

-Officers recovered 20 wraps from a premises on Montgomery Road, Ipswich. A 36 year old woman was arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of drugs, an 18 year old male was also arrested for being concerned in the supply of drugs and a 16 year old male was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply. All three were release under investigation pending further enquiries.

- Also in Ipswich officers conducted a search of a premises in Woodbridge Road recovering a quantity of Class A drugs, two knives, a large amount of cash and mobile phones. Officers arrested three people and a 47-year-old man, a 21-year-old woman and a 17-year-old woman were all released under investigation pending further enquiries.

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