County lines operations in Atherstone and Nuneaton hailed a success by Police

Thursday, 13th December 2018

OPERATIONS to target county lines drug crime in Atherstone and Nuneaton have been hailed a success.

County lines crime is a term used to describe gangs transporting drugs from bigger cities into smaller towns. This is a national problem involving drug gangs operating from cities including Birmingham, London, Manchester and Liverpool.

Operation Farrell was launched in Nuneaton in December 2017 to tackle county lines crime following a number of violent incidents linked to the supply of drugs.

Operation Alarity was launched in Atherstone in February 2018.

Successes from Operation Alarity in Atherstone include:

  • 13 arrests
  • More than 30 intelligence based stop and searches, with six of these leading to arrests.

Successes from Operation Farrell in Nuneaton include:

  • 37 arrests
  • More than 50 intelligence based stop and searches, with many of those being arrested.
  • Nine warrants executed at properties in Nuneaton
  • Thousands of pounds worth of drugs seized
  • Weapons seized including knives, machetes and an electroshock weapon

In August 2018, plainclothes officers arrested a 21-year-old man from Nuneaton and seized £1600 worth of heroin and crack cocaine. The man was sentenced to three years in prison.

Also in August 2018, a 22-year-old man was arrested in Atherstone as part of Operation Alarity. He was found to be in possession of more than 100 wraps of heroin and crack cocaine with a street value of around £1500. He pleaded guilty to a range of drug and weapon offences and was sentenced to seven years in prison.

Inspector Dave Williams, safer neighbourhood lead for Nuneaton and Bedworth, and North Warwickshire said: “When we started the operations we identified the county lines drug trade in Nuneaton and Atherstone as being one of the biggest problem areas in Warwickshire. I’m pleased to say that following a recent risk assessment this is no longer the case and both areas have become a lot more hostile for these types of criminals. In fact, we are confident the problem of drugs being shipped in from Birmingham to Atherstone has been totally eliminated for the time being

“While the operations are technically coming to a close this doesn’t mean that we won’t be focusing on county lines crime in Nuneaton and Atherstone. Perhaps the main success from these operations is the improved intelligence picture that has allowed us to identify those involved in county lines drug dealing and the vulnerable people they prey on.

“This means that tackling county lines crime has become part of day-to-day business for the safer neighbourhood team. We are using the intelligence we have gained to protect the vulnerable people who are targeted by county lines criminals and disrupt the activity of those who continue to try to deal drugs.

“We’re continuing to appeal for the public’s support and encouraging them to look out for the signs of county lines drug crime.”

Anyone with information about drug dealing should call 101. Alternatively, information can be provided anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.