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Arrests made during county lines gang crime week of action

30 Oct 2019

Hertfordshire Constabulary carried out a series of operations as part of a national week of action (7 -11 October) against county lines gang activity.

The Operation Mantis team executed warrants and conducted other activity targeting individuals that have links to organised crime and drug supply networks. The activities were supported by local policing teams, Scorpion units and officers from the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU). The week of action was part of a national drive, led by the National County Lines Co-ordination Centre (NCLCC), to disrupt and arrest those involved in county lines.

On Tuesday 8 October a county line operating out of Welwyn Garden City and Hatfield, originating from Islington was targeted. Officers served a warrant at an address in Hatfield and arrested a 21 year old man and a 24 year old man both of no fixed address on suspicion of possession with intent to supply class A drugs. Quantities of suspected drugs and cash were recovered during the operation, both men were released under investigation.

Another warrant was served at a property in Welwyn Garden City relating to a county line originating from Brent. Officers arrested a 25 year old man from Brent on suspicion of possession with intent to supply class A drugs, and seized a quantity of suspected drugs along with cash and knives. Another man, aged 42, and from Barnet was also arrested during the operation as he was wanted on warrant in connection with another investigation. Both were released under investigation.

During the national week of action a number of other operations were conducted around the county.

An operation was carried out on Monday 7 October to disrupt criminals using the rail network, with officers from the East Herts Safer Neighbourhood team supported by the British Transport Police (BTP). Two stop searches were carried out in Ware. One person was reported for possession of cannabis and a trespass offence was dealt with by BTP officers.

Another operation was carried out on Tuesday 8 October at South Oxhey and Watford rail stations, supported by officers from the Broxbourne Safer Neighbourhood team, ERSOU and BTP. During the operation six stop and searches were carried out and two people were reported for drug possession.

On Wednesday 9 October an operation was carried out in Broxbourne, supported by local Scorpion officers, the mobile Scorpion team and Parkguard targeting the use of the road network to supply drugs into the south east of Hertfordshire, between Waltham Abbey and Enfield.

During the operation a 26 year old man from Hoddesdon and a 22 year old man of no fixed address were arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply class A and class B drugs and going equipped to steal. A 27 year old man from Ware was also arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply class A and class B drugs. Eight stop and searches were carried out and two cars were seized and one person was referred for a community resolution order for possession of cannabis.

On Thursday 10 October an operation was carried out on the A1170 in Ware. This was supported by officers from the Regional Disruption team. The route is an arterial route into Ware avoiding the A10 and a key connection to Essex, suspected to be used by county lines to import into Ware and Hertford.

During the operation 121 vehicles were stopped, six traffic offence reports were issued, a vehicle was seized for having no insurance and another was seized for having no tax. One driver was reported to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) for medical reasons and five vehicle defect rectification notices were issued. A vehicle was also seized by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA).

Detective Chief Inspector Tracy Pemberton from Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Operation Mantis team, said: “This has been another productive week of action where we have made a number of important arrests, seized cash and drugs and gathered a huge amount of intelligence on the county lines networks operating in Hertfordshire.

“These are great collaborative operations working with colleagues in various agencies at local, regional and national level to disrupt county lines and gang related crime. This joined up approach means we can target the different ways that these criminals are entering the county, as well as building up a picture of who the offenders are and where they are operating.

“We continue to make a significant impact on the county lines networks. We have already shut down several drug networks and caused major disruptions to others. We continue to work with partners to raise awareness of county lines among young people, parents, teachers and other members of the community to help protect the vulnerable and prevent them from being pulled into this kind of activity.”

If you suspect that a property in your area is being used for criminal activity or you believe that someone you know is being exploited or coerced into crime, please contact Hertfordshire Constabulary via the non-emergency number 101 or report information online at www.herts.police.uk/report. If you are part of a gang or believe you are being coerced or exploited by criminal gang members you can get help and advice at www.fearless.org, which provides non-judgemental advice and allows you to give information 100% anonymously.  

Alternatively, you can contact the independent crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through their Anonymous Online Form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org. No personal details are taken, information cannot be traced or recorded and you will never need to go to court.

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