Welwyn Garden City and Hatfield arrests in county lines drugs crackdown

PUBLISHED: 11:40 30 October 2019 | UPDATED: 11:40 30 October 2019

Arrest warrants were served in Welwyn Garden City and Hatfield as part of a county lines gang crime week of action. Picture: Archant

Arrest warrants were served in Welwyn Garden City and Hatfield as part of a county lines gang crime week of action. Picture: Archant

Archant

Three men were arrested in Welwyn Garden City and Hatfield as part of a national week of action to tackle county lines gang activity.

Herts police's Operation Mantis team carried out warrants and conducted other activity targeting people who have links to organised crime and drug supply networks, known as county lines.

Earlier this month officers targeted a county line operating out of Welwyn Garden City and Hatfield, originating from Islington in north London.

Police served a warrant at an address in Hatfield and arrested two men, age 21 and 24 and both of no fixed address, on suspicion of possession with intent to supply class A drugs.

Quantities of suspected drugs and cash were recovered during the operation, and both men have been released under investigation.

Another warrant was served at a property in Welwyn Garden City, in relation to a county line originating from Brent in north west London.

A 25-year-old man from Brent was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply class A drugs, and officers seized a quantity of suspected drugs along with cash and knives.

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Another man, aged 42 and from Barnet, was also arrested as he was wanted in connection with another investigation. Both men have been released under investigation.

Two stop searches were also carried out in Ware by British Transport Police, to disrupt criminals using the rail network, and other operations were carried out in South Oxhey, Watford, Broxbourne and Hoddesdon.

DCI Tracy Pemberton, from the Operation Mantis team, said: "This has been another productive week of action where we have made a number of important arrests, seized cash and drugs and gathered a huge amount of intelligence on the county lines networks operating in Hertfordshire.

"These are great collaborative operations working with colleagues in various agencies at local, regional and national level to disrupt county lines and gang-related crime.

"This joined-up approach means we can target the different ways that these criminals are entering the county, as well as building up a picture of who the offenders are and where they are operating.

"We continue to make a significant impact on the county lines networks. We have already shut down several drug networks and caused major disruptions to others.

"We continue to work with partners to raise awareness of county lines among young people, parents, teachers and other members of the community to help protect the vulnerable and prevent them from being pulled into this kind of activity."

If you suspect that a property in your area is being used for criminal activity, or you believe someone you know is being exploited or coerced into crime, contact Herts police on the non-emergency number 101.

If you are part of a gang or believe you are being coerced or exploited by criminal gang members, you can get help and advice anonymously at www.fearless.org.

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