County Lines drug dealers in Dorset are changing the way they operate

County Lines drug dealers in Dorset are changing the way they operate

Published by Maria Greenwood at 2:02pm 1st May 2020.

Dorset Police are asking us to be more aware and to report any suspicious activity regarding drugs in our area.

Since government restrictions have been put in place to stop the spread of COVID-19, the force is finding that 'County Lines' drug dealers are changing the way they operate.

Before lockdown, young people and vulnerable adults were used to transport and collect payments for drug deals.

The government's restrictions have helped to stop this from happening but, the gangs are now adapting the way they work to continue dealing.

Police night

Superintendent Caroline Naughton from Dorset Police said:

"When the restrictions were implemented, initially we saw a decrease in drug dealing. However, we know the gangs and 'County Lines' suppliers are still operating - they are just changing their methods to get round the restrictions."

"We already know about a lot of their activities and how they have changed their operations but we always want to know more and help from the public is invaluable. Therefore, we are asking members of the public to tell us if they have seen anything suspicious or have concerns about people within their community."

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Martyn Underhill, Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner, said:

"Sadly, 'County Lines' dealers will stop at nothing to ply their damaging trade, bringing drugs into our towns and villages as well as exploiting vulnerable people, and the Covid-19 restrictions have led to these gangs changing their tactics."

"Now, more than ever, we need the community to work with us so please find out about the signs to look out for and if you see anything suspicious in your neighbourhood contact Dorset Police."

'What is County Lines?'

  • The term 'County Lines' is used to describe gangs from cities supplying drugs to rural parts of the UK through burner phones.
  • The gangs are more likely to pick to children or vulnerable adults, to help them move and store the drugs, through manipulation and threats.

If you see any suspicious activity please report it to Dorset Police or you can call CrimeStoppers on 0800555111 and report it online.