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Officers from Cheshire Constabulary and Merseyside Police joined forces on Friday 18 November for Operation Medusa, an ongoing initiative to crackdown on county lines drug dealing and child criminal exploitation (CCE).
As part of the operation officers flooded the streets of Widnes and the main transport routes used by county lines drug dealers when travelling between Liverpool and Halton.
Inspector Thomas Hall, of Widnes Local Policing Unit said:
“We know that criminals don’t simply stop when they reach boarders. Instead, organised crime groups based in major cities like Liverpool are always looking to extend their criminal activities into other locations, including Widnes.
“This operation forms part of our ongoing commitment to make our town a hostile place for criminals, disrupt illegal activity and make Widnes a safer place for everyone.
“However, it wasn’t just about catching criminals and seizing drugs, as part of the operation we also wanted to identify and safeguard vulnerable adults and children who are controlled, coerced and manipulated into dealing drugs on behalf of organised crime gangs.
“By doing so we can offer them the support that they require and help to set them on the right path for a better life and move them away from crime.”
Multiple stop checks were conducted as part of the operation, resulting in the arrest of three men and the seizure of a Class A and B drugs.
The arrests included –
• 16-year-old boy arrested for possession of class B drugs (cannabis). Cash and mobile phone also seized.
• 18-year-old man arrested for assault on an emergency worker, possession with intent to supply class B drugs (cannabis), possession of an offensive weapon in private place, possession of class A drugs (cocaine) and possession of criminal property.
• 29-year-old man Prescot arrested for possession with intent to supply class A drugs. Charged and remanded in custody.
Inspector Hall added:
“Following this operation, we will continue to work with other forces and partner agencies to do everything in our power to protect local residents from serious and organised crime.
“However, we also need support from the public. We need residents to be our eyes and ears by looking out for, and reporting, suspicious behaviour and signs of vulnerable children and adults being exploited.
“If you have any information that may help us to build more intelligence regarding county lines drug dealing, bring offenders to justice and keep vulnerable members of our communities safe then please get in touch.
“Together we can take dangerous substances off our streets.”
For more details on how to spot the signs of county lines drug dealing, and help make Widnes a safer place, visit https://www.cheshire.police.uk/police-forces/cheshire-constabulary/areas/cheshire/campaigns/campaigns/2019/impact/.
Any information regarding drug dealing in your community, no matter how small, should be reported to Cheshire Constabulary on 101, or via https://www.cheshire.police.uk.
Alternatively, you can contact independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.