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Police arrest 12 people and shut down County Lines after crackdown on drugs

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Twelve people have been arrested and at least two County Line phone lines were shut down in Norfolk during a national operation.Drugs, weapons, cash and drug-dealing paraphernalia were also seized during the week, which took place between Monday, March 4 and Sunday, 10.As well as warrants being executed, arrests were made and drugs were seized in Lynn, Norwich, Thetford and Great Yarmouth.

Twelve people have been arrested and at least two County Line phone lines were shut down in Norfolk during a national operation. Picture: iStock

Officers and staff also visited vulnerable residents and held engagement events with young people and businesses.Inspector Jo Minnis, County Lines lead for Norfolk Constabulary, said: “It is important to note this work never stops.“We will look to disrupt serious and organised crime, drug dealing and other associated criminality every day of the year, and wherever possible, bring those responsible to justice.“While this week highlights the continued efforts to tackle those dealing drugs, it was equally an opportunity to reach out to vulnerable members of the community.”Insp Minnis said that some of the most vulnerable people are often those most affected.“We have visited a number of homes whose occupants have been or may be victims of cuckooing, which is where vulnerable adults’ homes are used as a base for criminal activity; we continue to support those affected by drugs and addiction; and we work with partners to divert young people away from crime, and support those who are being exploited by the dealers and gang leaders.”Other work during the week included working with taxi companies to ensure they know what to look for and how to report suspicious behaviour, as taxis are sometimes used by dealers to move around the county.Arrests for offences across the week included possession with intent to supply and being concerned in the supply of Class A and B drugs.Officers seized crack cocaine, heroin, cannabis, magic mushrooms and MDMA, as well as knives, a hammer and a knuckle duster.The week was coordinated by the National County Lines Coordination Centre set up by the National Crime Agency and National Police Chiefs’ Council.County Lines refers to a drug-dealing model which involves criminals using phone lines to facilitate the supply of Class A drugs, normally between a major city and another county.The line holder often exploits young people and children to move the drugs between counties or coerce vulnerable adults by taking over their addresses from where they deal drugs – this is known as cuckooing.Anyone with information about drug supply is encouraged to contact Norfolk Constabulary on 101, online via its website or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.For anyone wishing to seek advice and support for drug or alcohol addiction, Change Grow Live can be contacted on 01603 514096 or e-mail norfolk.info@cgl.org.uk

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