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Norfolk's taxi firms join fight against County Lines drug trafficking

In a significant crackdown on County Lines drug operations, Norfolk Police have made noteworthy strides, culminating in the arrest of twelve individuals and the dismantling of at least two critical drug supply lines.

This concerted effort, part of a national campaign from 4-10 March 2024, has seen the seizure of drugs, weapons, cash, and related paraphernalia across Norwich, Thetford, King’s Lynn, and Great Yarmouth.

A focal point of the operation was the collaboration with local taxi companies, aimed at curbing the misuse of taxis by drug dealers for transportation across the county. This initiative highlights the importance of community involvement in combating drug trafficking, empowering taxi firms with the knowledge to identify and report suspicious activities effectively.

Throughout the week, law enforcement officers executed warrants, made significant arrests, and seized various drugs including crack cocaine, heroin, cannabis, magic mushrooms, and MDMA. The operation also led to the confiscation of dangerous weapons such as knives, a hammer, and a knuckle duster.

The operation was orchestrated by the National County Lines Coordination Centre, a joint initiative by the National Crime Agency and the National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC). The effort aims to disrupt the County Lines model, a notorious drug distribution strategy involving the use of dedicated phone lines to facilitate the movement of Class A drugs from cities to rural areas. This model often exploits vulnerable adults and young people, coercing them into drug transportation and dealing, a practice known as "cuckooing".

This latest operation highlights the crucial role of community and business engagement, particularly with taxi firms, in the ongoing battle against drug trafficking and the exploitation of vulnerable individuals.

Inspector Jo Minnis, County Lines lead for Norfolk Constabulary, said: “It is important to note this work never stops.

“We will look to disrupt serious and organised crime, drug dealing and other associated criminality every day of the year, and wherever possible, bring those responsible to justice.

“While this week highlights the continued efforts to tackle those dealing drugs, it was equally an opportunity to reach out to vulnerable members of the community. 

“Often those most affected are some of the most vulnerable members of our communities.

“We have visited a number of homes whose occupants have been or may be victims of cuckooing, which is where vulnerable adults’ homes are used as a base for criminal activity; we continue to support those affected by drugs and addiction; and we work with partners to divert young people away from crime, and support those who are being exploited by the dealers and gang leaders.”


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