UK Transport Police drugs withdrawn from rail network

Police seized large quantities of drugs and carried out life-saving interventions to protect vulnerable people on the rail network as part of a national week of action.

The British Transport Police (BTP) participated in the week of activity to disrupt the activity of County Lines.

Coordinated by the Force County Lines Working Group, the week saw officers working with regional police forces on operations at key stations and train routes across the UK.

These included a mix of plainclothes and uniformed officers alongside drug dogs and metal detecting bows, to remove harmful drugs and dangerous weapons from the railroad and communities.

During the seven-day period, the BTP conducted 88 operations, half of which were joint with regional police forces.

A total of 41 people were arrested and officers seized 52 different amounts of drugs, £ 50,000 in cash, 43 phones and removed 32 dangerous weapons from the railroad.

They also protected 14 vulnerable children and adults, visited a cuckoo address and seized an “offer line” – a cell phone linked to the sale of drugs.

Detective Superintendent Gareth Williams, head of the BTP County Lines Task Force, said: “These results are a testament to the dedicated work of my team in partnership with our fellow police officers and a reminder to criminals that the railroad does is not a viable option for transporting drugs, or even exploited people. , between the locations.

“The drugs they distribute in communities are ruining lives and we are continually developing and sharing our intelligence image, varying our tactics and dismantling their criminal operations.

“This coordinated week gave us the opportunity to highlight our proactive operational work and also highlight the ‘Look Closer’ campaign, which we developed with The Children’s Society.

“It aims to raise awareness of child exploitation and encourages railway personnel and the public to spot the signs that someone is being exploited and to always bring their concerns to us.

“If you spot any signs of exploitation on the tracks, text us at 61016.

“No report is too small or insignificant – we’ll always take you seriously.”

The BTP County Lines Task Force – a police team dedicated to combating organized criminals using the railroad to transport drugs – was set up with funding from the Home Office in December 2019.

A key goal of the team is to identify and protect vulnerable children and adults often exploited by these criminals to transport drugs and cash between places of import and export.

To date, the task force has made over 1,500 arrests, seized nearly 1,000 consignments of drugs, made 85 referrals to the National Safeguard Referral Mechanism and obtained 18 charges under the modern slavery.

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