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Isle Of Wight County Lines Networks Dismantled During Intensification Week

Fifteen County Lines drug-dealing networks — including Isle of Wight based ones — were dismantled and 64 arrests were made during an intensification week focused on tackling drug related harm and violence in our communities.

County Lines means to deal drugs using mobile phones, usually from large cities to towns and rural areas in the UK.

Line holders will use runners, often young and vulnerable children, to deliver the drugs. It’s linked to some of the most serious and violent crimes such as human trafficking, modern slavery, and child exploitation.

During the week of action, which ran between Monday 4 March and Sunday 10 March, officers across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight relentlessly pursued criminals in an effort to crack down on gangs that bring misery to our communities.

They have also been proactive in safeguarding children and vulnerable adults from harm, having safeguarded 58 individuals.

The Force-wide policing activity across Hampshire and Isle of Wight resulted in:

The Drug Related Crime and Harm Tactical Lead for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight Constabulary, Chief Inspector Marcus Kennedy, said:

"Last week, across Hampshire and Isle of Wight, our officers targeted these County Lines, so as to disrupt drug dealing, prevent the exploitation of vulnerable individuals and to relentlessly target criminals who bring drugs and associated violence to our streets.

"This County Lines week, there was a specific national focus around the safeguarding of young people, caught up in the running of drugs for County Lines.

"We will continue to target those that choose to exploit others, throughout the year, I don’t apologise for this direct and effective tactic.''

 

Advice and support:

  • Crimestoppers – An independent charity, which offers a range of advice and support. Crimes can be reported completely anonymously on 0800 555 111.
  • Missing People’s SafeCall – a confidential and anonymous helpline and support service for young people and family members in England and Wales that are affected by County Lines and criminal exploitation. The service also provides confidential support and advice for professionals in relation to their work with an exploited young person or family. Call or text 116000 for free, 9am to 11pm, 7 days a week.
  • Barnardo’s Independent Child Trafficking Guardianship Service - provides an independent source of advice and advocacy for children who have been trafficked and somebody who can speak up on their behalf.
  • NSPCC – provides advice on how to spot the signs and report child exploitation and involvement in gangs.
  • The Children’s Society – a national charity, which aims to protect and support young people from a range of issues, including child exploitation, criminal gangs and violence.

If you have any information or are concerned about someone then you should call the police on 101 to make a report or 999 if there is an immediate risk. If on a train text British Transport Police on 61016.

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