XL bully dogs and hundreds of weapons seized in county lines drug gang raids

Police Scotland participate in week-long intensification exercise co-ordinated by the National Police Chiefs Council.

XL bully dogs and hundreds of weapons seized in county lines drug gang raids

Eight XL bully dogs and more than 600 weapons including guns, nunchucks and knuckledusters have been seized in a week of police raids on county lines drug gangs across the UK.

A total of 1,874 suspects were arrested across the country in the week ending March 10, with 245 drug dealing phone lines closed down.

Another 1,653 people who were being exploited by the gangs, just over half of them children, have been brought to safety.

Police Scotland took part in the week-long intensification exercise, which was co-ordinated by the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC).

Officers seized class A and B drugs, including crack, heroin, cocaine and cannabis, worth more than £2.5m.

They also visited 1,284 addresses that had been taken over by the drug gangs in a process known as cuckooing.

This is where vulnerable people are forced to allow criminals to use their homes as a base for storing or dealing drugs.

In Scotland, officers recovered drugs, cash and offensive weapons including a firearm.

Chief superintendent Dave Ferry, Police Scotland’s head of organised crime, said: “Organised criminals don’t care about the people in our communities, they only care about power and money. They exploit vulnerable people, they groom and threaten them to become involved in their activities.

“This is simply not welcome or tolerated in Scotland.

“Over the week we worked in partnership with national organisations, including the Serious Organised Crime Taskforce, to crack down on those involved in County Lines activity.”

During the intensification week, a joint Police Scotland and Dorset Constabulary day of action aimed at human trafficking took place, with warrants at addresses in Aberdeen, Bournemouth and Poole being executed.

Officers from Dorset travelled to Aberdeen and, with the assistance of Police Scotland officers, arrested a 21-year-old man from Bournemouth for human trafficking offences.

In total, officers in Scotland safeguarded 22 vulnerable people and engaged with another 1,070. They also visited 24 addresses.

Throughout the week 14 men and two women were arrested in Scotland for a variety of offences. Officers executed 15 drug and evidential search warrants.

Police Scotland also seized around £25,000 worth of cocaine and crack cocaine, £35,000 worth of heroin, quantities of cannabis and amphetamine, and over £4,200 in cash.

Policing minister Chris Philp said: “County lines gangs inflict harrowing damage and misery, using violence and intimidation to exploit children and vulnerable people to do their dirty work.

“Our police forces work incredibly hard every day to break up these criminal networks and I want to pay thanks to our officers for their continued efforts to tackle this vile activity.”

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