Officers from Cheshire Constabulary and Merseyside Police joined forces on 29 November for Operation Medusa, an ongoing initiative to crackdown on county lines drug dealing and child criminal exploitation (CCE).
Following on from the success of the operation on 18 November, 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 are seeing this method really have an impact on travelling criminals who cross borders to commit crime.
“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.
“As well as catching criminals and seizing drugs, we 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.”
“Cheshire Constabulary will not tolerate county lines teams operating in our force area and makes every effort to pursue those that blight our communities with heroin and crack cocaine supply, which ruins lives, families and communities.”
Multiple stop checks were conducted as part of the operation, resulting in the arrest of a 16-year-old boy on suspicion of supplying heroin and crack cocaine. He has since been charged and remanded to appear at North Cheshire Magistrates on Thursday on 1 December 2022.
The arrests included –
• 1 adult male on suspicion of possession of a controlled drug, namely heroin and crack cocaine
• 1 adult male on suspicion of fraud by false representation for driving a clone motor vehicle
• 1 adult male on suspicion of driving under the influence of a controlled drug
• 1 juvenile male on suspicion of possession of a controlled drug with the intent to supply x 2 – heroin and crack cocaine
Inspector Hall added:
“While we continue to work with other forces and partner agencies to do everything in our power to protect local residents from serious and organised crime, we also need your help.
“We need you 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.”