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County Lines Operation runs across the South of England

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County Lines Op 5

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One hundred police officers today led an operation to stop people using the railway to deliver drugs out of London.

The operation, led by BTP, ran at Paddington Station and then at stations along the line to Bristol – including Ealing Broadway, Reading, Oxford and Swindon.

It included officers from the Metropolitan Police, alongside those from Thames Valley, Wiltshire, MDP and Avon and Somerset.

Station commander at Paddington, Inspector Juliet Owens, said: “Our aim today was to disrupt those who intend on using trains out of Paddington to transport drugs to other towns and cities.

“We know this ‘county lines’ activity is taking place and it’s something we’re going to stop.”

The operation included uniformed and plain clothes officers, as well as police dogs, and used live intelligence to ensure officers were in the right place at the right time.

Any young people suspected of being exploited by a gang to carry drugs or cash are safeguarded by officers, who ensure they get the help they need.

A total of 19 people were stop and searched, as well as two arrested at Paddington – one for possession of an offensive weapon and another for public order and assaulting a constable. In other stations, a vulnerable child was returned to their parents and many other people were spoken to, as well as vital intelligence being gathered.

Insp Owens added: “The aim of today was to detect, deter and disrupt county lines activity, reduce crime and ensure that all the forces are working together for a common aim.

“I’m happy to report this proved successful and is something we’ll be doing again in future weeks and months.”

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County Lines Op 2

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County Lines Op 1

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County Lines Op 2

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County Lines Op 4

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