More than 20 arrested following major Welwyn Hatfield county lines drugs operation

police van

16 people have been charged with conspiracy to supply class A drugs. - Credit: Archant

More than 20 people have been arrested, with 16 charged, following a major police operation targeting the drugs supply in Welwyn Hatfield.

Operation Telic, which ran for six months, used a combination of covert and reactive tactics to disrupt county lines drug dealing.

County lines is the name given to the trafficking of drugs out of cities into smaller towns and rural areas.

As a result of the operation, five county lines coming out of London were identified and disrupted by police.

Additionally, three vulnerable juveniles and an adult were identified for safeguarding and are now receiving help and support.


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Following  policing work, three main arrest phases took place on December 14 2020, Wednesday, January 6 and Tuesday, January 12.

A total of 24 people have been arrested and the following 16 have been charged with conspiracy to supply class A drugs:

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· Zac Patterson, 27, of Iverson Road, Camden

· Ben Douglas, 23, of Kimptons Mead, Potters Bar

· Chris Sharpe, 38, of Kimptons Mead, Potters Bar

· Stuart Daisley, 25, of Nettlecroft, Welwyn Garden City

· John Layton, 55, of Boundary Way, Welwyn Garden City

· Eraste Muaka, 26 of Soloman Way, Tower Hamlets

· Antoinette Williams, 27, of Mildmay Road, London

· A 15-year-old boy from Greater London

· Ibrar Ali, 49, of Sleapshyde Lane, St Albans

· Kamal Hussan, 21, of Southgate Road, Islington

· A 16 year old boy from Harringay, London

· Daniel Dowding, 40, of Bishops Rise, Hatfield

· Ben Webb, 37, of Bishops Rise, Hatfield

· Sarah Anon, 36, of Garden Avenue, Hatfield

· Bryn Caddy, 38, of Dellsome Lane, Welham Green

· Rafael Bilinski, 18, of St Albans Road East, Hatfield

Of the remaining eight arrested, one has been recalled to prison, another has been cautioned and six have been released under investigation while enquiries continue.

Detective Chief Inspector Mark Clawson, from Herts Police's Tactical Resources Team, led the operation.

He said: “This was a carefully constructed operation, beginning with several months of intelligence-gathering and targeting those responsible for bringing drugs out of London and onto the streets of Welwyn Hatfield.

"Despite the pandemic, specialist officers from our Tactical Resources Team stopped at nothing and relentlessly pursued those involved, arresting over 20 individuals, safeguarding vulnerable people, and preventing others from being drawn into the drugs trade.”

Welwyn Hatfield Chief Inspector Simon Mason added: “I hope the results of Operation Telic reassure you that we are serious about wiping drugs off the streets of Welwyn Hatfield and finding those responsible. We know the devastating impact that drugs have on communities and we will continue working with our local partners, including Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council, to prevent drug dealing and drug-related crime so that Welwyn Hatfield remains a safe place we’re proud to call home.”

You can report information about drug dealing online at herts.police.uk/report, speak to an operator in Force Communications Room via online web chat at herts.police.uk/contact or call the non-emergency number 101.

Alternatively, you can stay anonymous by contacting the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or via their untraceable online form at crimestoppers-uk.org.

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