Hertfordshire Constabulary carried out a week of operations targeting county lines drugs gangs, between Monday, October 9 and Sunday, October 15, as part of a national county lines week of action.
During the week, the Operation Mantis team, supported by Hertfordshire’s Operational Support Group and local crime units, carried out warrants targeting gangs involved in drug dealing. Officers from the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU) and National Crime Agency (NCA) were also involved I the operations.
The teams carried out warrants at addresses in Borehamwood, Cheshunt, Hemel Hempstead, St Albans, Stevenage, Welwyn Garden City and Luton. Twenty individuals were arrested in total, with six of those being charged and remanded into custody. More than £22,000 in cash, class A and class B drugs with a street value of more than £40,000 and an imitation firearm were recovered during the week. Four people were safeguarded during the operations, including three children.
Detective Chief Inspector Mark Clawson, from Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Serious and Organised Crime Command, said: “This latest week of action is part of our continuing drive to disrupt and dismantle county lines gangs operating in the county. The operations involved a number of different teams across the force, working with our partners to target county lines drug dealing in Hertfordshire and I appreciate all their hard work and support.
Detective Inspector Kelly Gray, from the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU) – which coordinates the policing response to county lines in the region – said: “The latest intensification period has led to some significant results across eastern England, which highlights once more the scale of criminality and exploitation associated with county lines gangs.
“We see many different types of crime associated with county lines networks, such as violence, exploitation, modern slavery, and of course drugs offences.
“That’s why it’s more important than ever that policing and other partner agencies continue to pursue those involved and protect and safeguard the vulnerable people being exploited.
“I would encourage the public to keep their eyes open to the signs of young and vulnerable people being exploited by county lines gangs. If you see anything that doesn’t look right, please contact your local force.”
Anyone with information on drug dealing or gang related crime is asked to contact Hertfordshire Constabulary via the non-emergency number 101 or report information online at www.herts.police.uk/report.