Amesbury burglary

Weapons, cash and other illegal contraband were seized during a major operation executed by Hampshire Police. 

Almost 50 people were arrested during the operation that took over a week, which also resulted in police safeguarding 28 potential victims of the dangerous world of county-line drugs.

Police chiefs set out to disrupt the criminal network from other cities bringing illegal drugs into Hampshire and the Isle of Wight using vulnerable people.

These county line networks will often use and exploit young people and vulnerable adults to commit a crime and will use fear, intimidation and violence against them or their families to get what that want.

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Warrants were executed in Portsmouth, Southampton, Basingstoke, Aldershot, Andover and the Isle of Wight.

Over £17,000 in cash, 39 phones and six knives were sezied.

Chief Insp Mark Lynch, who led the operation, said: ‘County Lines is a continuous threat to our communities, these drug dealers bring misery, fear and violence with them, they don’t care what damage they cause.

‘These organised crime groups use county lines as a business model to prey on the most vulnerable and what we tend to see is that where there is county lines there is often an increase in violent crime as rival networks come into conflict.

‘I’m very pleased with the significant results of how the operation went.

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‘As well as targeting those involved in county lines crime, Hampshire Constabulary also sees educating potential victims as an important preventative measure.’

Anyone with information that could help police tackle county lines drug crime can call 101. Alternatively, information can be provided anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.