British Transport Police County Lines Taskforce worked closely with other forces across the country on 243 joint operations targeting specific rail and tube stations, utilising local force knowledge alongside that of our specialised officers to ensure every deployment saw success in deterring County Lines on the rail network. They work tirelessly day in day out to target those using the rail network to transport drugs and exploiting children and young people.

The Taskforce host regular operations using an array of crime busting resources including its dog section, uniformed and plain clothes officers as well as a number of other tactics  to identify those involved in criminality. In the past year these operations have led to 671 arrests, an incredible 540 drug seizures including over 154kg of Class A and 113kg of Class B. Alongside these seizures officers have seized over £245k in cash from criminal activity.


Compared to the previous year, 73 more arrests were made and hundreds more people supported through safeguarding. The leaders of these organised County Lines gangs prey on young people to do their dirty work, 40% arrested were teenagers and of those less than 1 in 5 were charged with offences, giving them a criminal record.


Incredibly, in the last year 22 Modern Day Slavery Charges were made – the most of any year since the taskforce was formed in 2019. This means the force is holding those to account for their illegal actions in engaging people in illicit behaviour against their will.


More than 500 mobile phones used to orchestrate the transportation of drugs and weapons on the rail network were seized over the past 12 months. Analysing these phones and the intelligence gained from them is key to leading us to the organisers of County Line gangs.


Officers also seized 250 weapons over the 12 months, with an incredible haul of 36 weapon seizures in the first week of March, including two firearms.


County Lines Taskforce lead Detective Chief Superintendent Gareth Williams said “I am proud of the Taskforce achieving a 12% increase in the number of arrests on the previous year.


“Sadly we are still seeing far too many children involved in County Lines, we don’t seek to criminalise children, and we use the arrest as an opportunity to make a safe guarding intervention and gather intelligence into the organised crime groups who exploit children.


“We will continue to pursue those who make lives a misery through drug supply particularly those who control children and young people and exploit them in County Lines.


“If you are concerned about someone being caught up in County Lines or have information you wish to report please text us on 61016, call us on 0800 40 50 40 or call CrimeStoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

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