Suspected 'county lines' drug dealers sent back to London
A pair of teenagers suspected of travelling up from London to deal drugs in Suffolk have been back to the capital after being stopped in Ipswich.
Suffolk Constabulary has been cracking down on so-called “county lines” dealers, who are travelling from large cities to quieter rural areas to ply their trade.
Suffolk police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore has said the issue is the “biggest threat without question facing Suffolk at the moment” and has urged all public sector leaders to work together to tackle the issue.
Ipswich Central Safer Neighbourhood Team has now Tweeted that it stopped and searched a 16-year-old and a 19-year-old in Bramford Road, Ipswich on Tuesday, October 30.
Officers added on Twitter: “Both believed by police to be county lines drug dealers.
“The 16-year-old was taken into police protection and both were sent back to London.”
Earlier this year, Suffolk police revealed that they have arrested over 150 people in connection with the supply of class A drugs across the county up until the end of July this year.
The force also revealed that over £18,000 and over 2,800 wraps of class A drugs, like heroin and cocaine, had been seized in Suffolk with 45 warrants also carried out.
In the Ipswich area alone a total of 55 arrests were made for class A drug offences, with 33 arrests made for being concerned in the supply of class A drugs.
County Policing Commander Chief Supt Tonya Antonis said: “We want to make Suffolk a hostile environment for those who think they can come into our county and deal drugs, and anyone caught breaking the law will be dealt with robustly.”
Two years ago, Suffolk Constabulary set up the Urban Street Gang Unit which Sgt Vicky McParland, of the Ipswich Central Safer Neighbourhood Team, said was mainly focused on catching dealers.
But it was felt that was not solving the problem at its root - so the force replaced it with the Police Youth Gang Prevention Unit, which focuses more on stopping dealing in the first place.
She has also warned those who are caught dealing drugs in Suffolk: “We will find you and we will make your lives a misery.”