More than 20 arrests in Dorset drugs crackdown

MORE than 20 arrests were made in Dorset as part of a national crackdown on drug dealing.

The country-wide operation focussed on disrupting county lines operations – which see gangs exploit vulnerable people and children to supply drugs – between October 3 and 9.

The week of intensification involved officers engaging in significant activity in relation to drug-related crime, in particular county lines, including: engaging with the public to obtain intelligence, visiting and safeguarding vulnerable people and making arrests.

In Dorset, police said the work led to a considerable disruption of alleged county lines gangs and removed a large quantity of suspected class A drugs from the streets.

Over the course of the week, officers carried out 48 cuckooing prevention visits, made 22 arrests and seized 146 wraps of heroin and crack cocaine,  £7,500 in cash, various weapons and 17 mobile phones.

In total, 27 people impacted by county lines were safeguarded.

The county lines intensification week supports the ongoing drug-related work that is taking place in Dorset as part of the Operation Viper initiative.

Operation Viper sees a dedicated team of officers working alongside local neighbourhood policing teams to use intelligence and enforcement to tackle suspected county lines gangs and make the region a hostile place for those intent on dealing drugs and bringing misery on communities.

ACC Rachel Farrell, of Dorset Police, said: “Dorset Police is constantly working towards the eradication of county lines activity.

“This national week of intensification has further added to the excellent results achieved by our dedicated policing teams.

“I am proud to see the effort that has gone into disrupting suspected county lines by seizing drugs, equipment, arms and money and removing alleged dangerous criminals from our streets.

“This work supports our Op Viper initiative in protecting our communities and disrupting county lines and we will continue to work towards preventing and deterring county lines activity and the exploitation of the vulnerable.”

Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner, David Sidwick, said: “This is another fine example of the work that Operation Viper does across Dorset and my thanks goes to everyone involved in this ongoing operation to take drugs off our streets.

“I am delighted to see Dorset Police taking robust action against county lines gangs across the county.

“This is exactly the type of action that I and the residents of Dorset want to see from our police force. We must show the criminals who exploit our young and vulnerable to ply their evil trade, that such crimes will not be tolerated in our county.”

To report suspected drug dealing in your community, contact Dorset Police via, email, or call 101.

You can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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