MP for Bosworth, Dr Luke Evans, has welcomed a local crackdown on drugs in Hinckley, praising officers for their hard work in combating County Lines. Police have been conducting an investigation for a number of months in order to execute a large number of warrants to target the supply of class A drugs in Hinckley, and have arrested 43 people concerned in buying and selling drugs – known as County Lines.
The police investigation, named Operation Impose, began on Monday 20 September and has led to 20 people being charged with drugs offences – from supplying class A and conspiracy to supply class A and class B. Fifteen others remain under investigation, with the hard work by the team continuing and more charges expected. During the operation, 73 warrants were executed, and 76 addresses were searched, whilst officers recovered almost £200,000 in cash, various offensive weapons and around 6kg of heroin with a value in excess of £300,000 – not taking into account the street value.
Criminals from larger cities move to provincial areas, often into vulnerable people’s houses in order to take over their lives by establishing a drug supply criminal enterprise in that area and creating a ‘County Line’. Police believe this can have significant consequences for communities and vulnerable people, whilst also raising levels of crime and anti-social behaviour in the area.
Responding to the Operation, Dr Luke Evans said: “I’d like to thank both Detectives and Officers from Leicestershire Police for all of their hard work locally on cracking down on county line drug dealing, resulting in this extremely successful operation. Although we are surrounded by rural and often quiet countryside, it is a useful reminder that this kind of crime can happen anywhere. I would encourage anybody with any information on drug related offences to report it to the Police, to help protect us all from the dangers of County Lines.”
Minster of State for Crime and Policing, The Rt. Hon Kit Malthouse, said: “This is a brilliant piece of police work that will have a huge impact on Hinckley and the surrounding area. I congratulate and thank Leicestershire Police for the operation and for their strong commitment to our national mission of dismantling county lines completely.”
The Senior Investigating Officer for the operation, Detective Inspector Rob Arthur, said: “This has been the culmination of a lot of work by the team and we’re really pleased we’ve been able to arrest and charge a large number of people with drug related offences.”
Inspector Jamie Osborne, from the Neighbourhood Policing Area for Hinckley and Blaby, said: “This is hugely positive outcome for the people of Hinckley. County Lines gangs are using places like Hinckley to sell drugs and ruin people’s lives. There is no doubt that a significant police operation like this will benefit our communities.”
Anyone with any information about drug related intelligence is encouraged to call 101, report online via the Leicestershire Police website, or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.