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Train patrols target Shrewsbury drug supply

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County Lines Shrewbury

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Dealers involved in so called ‘County Lines’ using trains to bring drugs into Shrewsbury have been targeted in a police operation at the town’s railway station.
 
Earlier today, officers from British Transport Police and West Mercia Police joined forces in a bid to disrupt the supply of drugs to the area.
 
Undercover and uniformed officers patrolled trains, on the lookout for anyone bringing drugs and cash into or out of Shrewsbury through a form of organised crime known as “County Lines”.
 
This type of crime sees criminals from urban areas pressurise vulnerable people and children to transport, store and sell drugs in smaller county towns. It takes its name from the phone lines used by the dealers to communicate with one another.  
 
Detective Chief Inspector Gareth Davies from BTP said: “We believe dealers from Merseyside, Wolverhampton and Birmingham are targeting Shrewsbury in this way.
 
“Nationally, we have identified around 476 individuals associated with “County Lines” gangs using trains, with 131 of those being frequent train travellers. 
 
“While Shrewsbury accounts for a fraction of the national picture, we are committed to working with colleagues to take drugs off our streets and keep communities safe, using our specialist behavioural detection officers to spot those involved.
 
“We are also mindful that many who are drawn into “County Lines” are children exploited by gangs and how operations like this can be critical in helping to protect vulnerable young people, providing them with support and a way out.”
 
BTP will be supported by officers from West Mercia Police’s Local and Organised Crime Team based in Shrewsbury and the new Local Policing Priority Team for Shropshire and Telford. The operation reinforces the force’s commitment to tackling serious and organised crime as part of Protect. 
 
Detective Chief Inspector Mike Nally, of Shropshire CID said: “Working with our partners at BTP enables us to strenghthen our pursuit of those involved in serious and organised crime. 
 
“We have already seen some significant results targeting County Lines and will continue to build on these successes to prevent peole coming into our rural towns to deal drugs.
 
“Our absolute priority is protecting our communities from those causing the most harm and, together with our partners, we will do all we can reduce the impact of serious and organised crime across the county.”
 
Protect is a campaign being run by West Mercia Police alongside a range of partner agencies to tackle serious and organised crime (SOC).
 
The broad-ranging operation covers four key areas of activity: 
 
Pursue – prosecuting and disrupting those involved in SOC
Prevent – stopping individuals from becoming involved in SOC
Protect – increased levels of protection against SOC
Prepare – reducing the impact of SOC where it occurs
 

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