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BTP County Lines Taskforce: 57 arrests in joint day of action

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County Lines operation Preston station

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A joint County Lines operation between British Transport Police and four other forces ended with 57 arrests and drugs seized.

On Tuesday 25 February, officers from the BTP County Lines taskforce worked alongside police forces from Merseyside, Lancashire, Cumbria, and Scotland.

Each force targeted different areas including bus stations, the motorway, the railway and airports.

The BTP County Lines Taskforce were deployed at Liverpool Lime Street station, Wigan North Western station and Preston station as well as on board trains travelling up to Scotland.

The operation, codenamed “Project Medusa”, was a Merseyside-led initiative.

Fourteen warrants were executed at addresses across the four Home Office forces ending in 53 arrests.

BTP officers arrested four people on the rail network.
 
See news coverage of the operation here:
 


Alongside the arrests, significant quantities of Class A drugs were seized as well as cash and phones.

An imitation firearm was also recovered from an address in Lancashire. 

Elsewhere in Scotland, a quantity of cocaine was recovered along with over £1000 and numerous phones at one address.

Detective Chief Inspector Brett Walker, of the British Transport Police, said: “Our Taskforce works day in, day out, identifying train routes used by drug gangs, then using that knowledge to disrupt that activity.

“We carry out operations across England, Wales and Scotland constantly and always without warning. This has proven to be very successful with more than 140 arrests since December.

“This operation was another example of police forces nationwide working together to crack down on anyone using transport hubs to move drugs across the country.”

ACC Ian Critchley, of Merseyside Police, said: "We have seen considerable success through this kind of targeted action in recent months and weeks and it is vital that we keep up this level of activity. As a result of the activity yesterday 57 people were arrested for various drugs offences and seven vulnerable people were referred for safeguarding

"Those responsible for these County Lines bring misery to our local communities through their drug dealing and they also target and coerce young and vulnerable people into doing their dirty work. Here on Merseyside we have arrested 112 people and shutdown 32 County Lines since November last year.

"Project Medusa, hits the criminals hard, but when it comes to the young and vulnerable people, who have been criminally exploited, we ensure that they are treated sensitively and with understanding.”

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