Police have arrested five people and seized three vehicles as they tackle county lines drug tracking across southern England.
The Metropolitan Police Service, in partnership with Hampshire Constabulary, carried out four raids on home addresses and commercial properties in Croydon and Bromley on Tuesday 12 May.
In the early morning raids, Specialist Crime Command officers arrested five people and seized two Mercedes and a green Lamborghini.
At one of the addresses specialist equipment was needed to enter due to the property being secured with metal bars on the front door and all windows.
The five suspects were arrested suspicion of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs. Following their arrest, they were transported to a police station in the Hampshire area for questioning.
Acting Detective Chief Inspector Ant Jones, from the Specialist Crime Command, said:
“Investigating and disrupting county lines activity remains a priority for the Met. There is an inextricable link between the supply of drugs and violence.
“Officers are continuing to carry out intelligence-led operations, even under the current public health crisis, in order to dismantle and disrupt organised criminality and put those breaking the law behind bars.”
Chief Inspector Mark Lynch from Hampshire Constabulary said:
“The threat from county lines drug dealing continues to present a significant risk to vulnerable children and adults living within Hampshire, despite the current Covid-19 restrictions the country finds itself in.
“Please be reassured that despite the operational challenges the pandemic poses to us and other front line emergency services, tackling organised crime in all its various guises remains our core focus and operations to disrupt criminals who attempt to profit from drug dealing will continue. Not only will we prosecute those found responsible to the full extent of the law, but we will also seek to maximise every opportunity to strip them of their illicit gains.
“The sad reality is that vulnerable young people are often targeted, coerced with either threats or false promises of cash and designer possessions, when in reality those criminals regard those children as nothing more than a disposable asset, to be used and abused until they have no longer have any need for them. The added dimension of Covid-19 just presents yet another serious health risk to those youths and those that they associate with.
“By working effectively with the wider Hampshire & Isle of Wight partnerships, we seek not only to help those in need at this time, but also to stop and deter other children in the future becoming entangled in this emotive and horrific area of modern day criminality.”
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