from the Guardian

Police are reporting that new tactics have allowed them to reverse the growth in ‘county lines’ drug dealing, and are making progress on eradicating it from the worst-hit areas in the UK.

County Lines is the name given to drug dealing headed up by gangs in major cities expanding their operation to rural areas, with places like Norfolk seeing a huge rise in serious violence and drug problems as a result. Cornwall has also been affected.

The new police tactics involve tracing the lines’ roots in London, via their pay-as-you-go mobile phones, rather than chasing the runners taking drugs out of the city. This has escalated, and become very effective, during lockdown.

Norfolk, the worst affected area, formerly had 75 lines, and now 30 of these have been closed down, reducing the amount of drugs in circulation by half.

Since November, 146 London-based alleged county line holders have been charged with selling class A drugs such as crack and heroin across Britain – in Scotland, Surrey, Kent, south Wales, and Devon and Cornwall, as well as Norfolk.

You can read more about the Police action here.

What’s happening locally?

Earlier in the year, Devon and Cornwall Police were asking people to be aware of the signs of County Lines activity:

Devon & Cornwall Police are asking local residents and holiday makers to know the signs of county lines and help keep Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly safe.

Some of the signs of county line include children from outside of the area travelling long distances on public transport alone, paying for tickets with large amounts of cash or children with multiple mobile phones, tablets or SIM cards.

You can contact the police on 101 or using a form on their website, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.