THE FIGHT will go on against county lines drug crime in Stratford say police chiefs.
The message comes following successes in the district tackling so-called ‘county lines’ gangs – big city drug dealers who target smaller nearby towns and rural areas where their faces are not known to local police.
Police say the daily fight against the dealers – which have also targeted Rugby and Warwick district – has made it more difficult for drug gangs to operate in Stratford.
Operation Ceberus has seen more than 20 people arrested – with a number still going through court – and over £30,000 worth of class A drugs seized.
And no drug-related, serious violence in Stratford has been reported since the start of Cerberus a year ago.
Insp Simon Ryan said a recent risk assessment showed the town had become ‘a lot more hostile to these types of criminals’.
He added: “Whilst we have had a huge impact on drugs supply in the Stratford area and some real success around these organised criminal groups, we won’t stop focusing on county lines crime in our town.
“Perhaps the main success from these operations is the improved intelligence picture that has allowed us to identify those involved in county lines drug dealing and the vulnerable people they prey on.
“Tackling county lines crime has become part of day-to-day business for the safer neighbourhood team, and we will continue to identify and disrupt organised drug criminality across Stratford district.
“We are using intelligence gained to protect vulnerable people who are targeted by county lines criminals and disrupt the activity of those who continue to try to deal drugs.
“We continue to listen to our communities and aspire to drive out those who are causing the most harm.”
Visit www.warwickshire.police.uk/protect for more information.
Anyone with information or concerns about drug dealing in the area should call police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.