Officers from Merseyside Police’s Project Medusa team have deployed to Devon and Cornwall to target county lines drugs supply and related offences in and around the city.
More than 100 officers and staff have supported the two-day operation (27-28 September) including Intelligence teams, Proactive Disruption, Police Dogs and Drones, Local Policing and Specialist Roads Policing Officers.
Teams from Devon & Cornwall and Merseyside were deployed on foot across the city, in unmarked traffic cars and specialist vehicles.
Across the operation, the forces arrested 50 people and seized:
- Drugs including heroin, cannabis, cocaine and suspected LSD
- Weapons including knives, a crossbow and gas-powered air weapons
- More than £30k in cash
- Seized multiple cars, vans and motorbikes.
Inspector Darren Wallace from Merseyside Police said: “Officers from Project Medusa – Merseyside’s initiative to tackle county lines drug dealing and child criminal exploitation, continue to work alongside colleagues from Devon and Cornwall to close county lines and safeguard vulnerable individuals from the grip of toxic gangs.
“This is Merseyside’s fourth deployment to the area to target county lines drug dealing and shows our ongoing commitment to work across borders to relentlessly pursue those involved in the supply of drugs and exploitation.”
“The results from this joint operation showcase the success of working together with other forces to take suspected county lines offenders off our streets.
“Our work to catch these criminals and bring them to justice continues on a daily basis and I would ask anyone who has information about this kind of activity to come forward so action can be taken.”
Devon & Cornwall Police Detective Inspector Kev Morley said: “We have achieved some significant disruptions through our proactive work over the last couple of days which has included removing drugs and weapons from the streets of our city.
“The teams have stopped and seized vehicles which are believed to be linked to drug supply and arrested people for a range of offences including driving under the influence of drugs, possession with intent to supply and possession of offensive weapons.
“This work is ongoing all the time but during these periods of intensification, we can really target the criminal behaviour and disrupt the activity.”
DI Morley added: “Working in collaboration with Merseyside Police and their specialist County Lines teams making such a difference to what we can achieve during these operations, and we will continue these deployments with them across the force in the future to make Plymouth a hostile environment if you intend to supply drugs.”
Head of Proactive Investigation, Detective Superintendent Jon Bancroft said: “Drugs suppliers deliberately target and exploit some of the most vulnerable people in Devon and Cornwall. We have zero tolerance for this and any illegal behaviours associated with these types of crimes.
“Information directly passed to us by you or anonymously through CrimeStoppers is a critical part of ensuring we protect these vulnerable people as Devon and Cornwall is no place for drugs supply and the misery on which it survives. That is a key role for Policing to proactively attack those lines of supply and we will continue to utilise your information as well as that we gather from officers and partner agencies to support to support the victims.
“The information reported to us helps to build the picture of some of the hidden harms within our area and I urge and encourage anyone who sees or has information about illegal activity in their community, to please report it to us.”
Since 2019, Project Medusa officers have closed 1,101 county lines; arrested 2,421 people for various offences including drug supply, firearms offences and money laundering; and identified 1,256 vulnerable adults and children who have been referred to safeguarding services.
If you have concerns about drug dealing in your area you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, call Merseyside Police on 101 or DM @MerpolCC. Always contact 999 if a crime is in progress.