Thirty-seven arrested since launch of county lines operation in January
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Police working on an operation dedicated to tackling county lines across Greater Manchester have so far made a total of 37 arrests, including four arrests and eight vehicle seizures during a proactive day of action in Manchester on Saturday.
Using Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology, nearly 40 officers from GMP’s Specialist Operations, Road Policing Unit, and Organised Crime Co-ordination Unit were out across the north and the east of the city on Saturday (20 March) afternoon as part of the operation – codenamed Flood.
Police stopped dozens of vehicles and seized eight at targeted checkpoints on Alan Turing Way and Queens Road, and arrested four men – aged between 22 and 46 – on suspicion of drug and driving offences. One man was later charged.
Operation Flood was formed in January 2021 as part of a proactive multi-agency approach to tackle an estimated 200 drugs lines operating within and outside of Greater Manchester.
A further 13 lines have been identified since the start of the operation, which has involved collaboration with neighbouring forces in Merseyside, Cumbria, Lancashire and Derbyshire to identify suspects exploiting vulnerable people elsewhere in the region.
This included a co-ordinated action day in Wigan in February with the support of plain-clothed officers from Merseyside Police.
A total of 37 arrests have been made so far during the course of the operation, which has seen hotspot areas across Greater Manchester targeted by GMP and supporting partners.
Over 80 stop searches have been conducted; 45 vehicles have been seized, a multitude of class A, B and C drugs, including over 8kg of class A drugs and £13,000 in cash, have been recovered, as well as a handgun since the start of the operation.
75 intelligence logs have been submitted with a view to being used as part of ongoing investigations across GMP, and police have been working with relevant local partners to ensure the safeguarding of any young or vulnerable people identified at being at risk of being criminally exploited by organised crime groups.
Anyone with concerns or information regarding county lines and the criminal exploitation of vulnerable people should contact police online, via 101 or always call 999 in an emergency.
Details can also be passed anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.