Officers from the force’s Project Medusa team have arrested 14 people following a joint Merseyside Police and North Wales investigation into County Lines drug dealing into Bangor and Anglesey on Friday 30 April.
The activity was part of ongoing Project Medusa, an operation led by Merseyside Police and set up to tackle County Lines drug dealing and child criminal exploitation. Two children and vulnerable adults were safeguarded as part of the operation.
Officers from both forces were deployed to areas of North Wales as well as transport hubs, such as Lime Street Station in Merseyside to disrupt criminal activity and safeguard young and vulnerable people exploited by criminal gangs.
In total 14 people were arrested for various offences including possession with intent to supply, drug driving and possession of a Class B drug.
Those arrested include:
An 18-year-old man from Rock Ferry was stop searched by police on St Peter’s Road, Rock Ferry and found to be carrying eight bags of cannabis and a significant amount of cash. He was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply a Class B drug (cannabis). He has since been released under investigation
At Green Lane station, Wirral, a 23-year-old man from Tranmere attempted to make off on sighting police officers. He was reported by witnesses to have swallowed a small bag of suspected class A drugs (heroin). He was arrested on suspicion of obstructing a police officer carrying out a search under the Misuse of Drugs Act. He was taken to hospital as a precaution has been released under investigation.
A 27-year-old man from Conwy was arrested on suspicion of drug driving, after he was seen by officers on Victoria Road, Llandudno. He has been released under investigation pending further enquiries.
Chief Inspector Karl Baldwin said: “This operation shows our continued commitment to work with partners in other forces to crack down on County Lines drug supply.
“Project Medusa is dedicated to cutting these County Lines dead and as this investigation has shown, regional boundaries do not matter. We work with partners in other forces to trace those responsible and help those who may be exploited by these organised criminal gangs.
“Ultimately everyone should be warned that if you get involved in crime, you risk facing the consequences. But when we identify vulnerable, exploited people during our enquiries, we ensure they are treated with sensitivity and understanding, and are offered the appropriate support. Our primary target is those who seek to use them for their own selfish gain.”
Anglesey District Sergeant Ian Roberts of North Wales Police said: ‘This is another example of the successes achieved by our close partnership with Merseyside Police. The criminals who operate County Lines do not respect borders, the communities they bring misery to, or the vulnerable people they exploit in the pursuit of illegal proceeds of crime.
“We will continue to disrupt and dismantle the activities of these Organised Crime Groups because there is no place for them in north Wales.”
Read more here about how to spot the signs of exploitation linked to drug dealing and the Eyes Open campaign, introduced by Merseyside Violence Reduction Partnership: https://www.merseyside.police.uk/police-forces/merseyside-police/areas/campaigns/campaigns/2018/eyes-open/.
You can also report any concerns to police on 999 if a crime is in progress, via 101, or via Twitter @MerPolCC or Facebook ‘Merseyside Police Contact Centre’.
You can also pass information via the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously, on 0800 555 111 or via their online form at: https://crimestoppers-uk.org/give-information/give-information.