County lines drugs trade
Panorama follows Kent police as they try to disrupt the ‘county lines’ that transport millions of pounds of drugs from London to towns across their county.
By Steve Swann & Michael Race
Karla, the mother of 16-year-old gang victim Jacob, says her son was groomed by adult criminals.
The BBC's Angus Crawford joins police as they look for vulnerable young people involved in county lines.
Machetes, a crossbow and a sword have been seized by police who arrested 19 people in a crackdown on county lines drug dealing gangs in Staffordshire.Copyright: Getty Images
Forces across the UK boosted activity against county lines gangs in the week from 17 to 23 May.
Staffordshire Police said they seized drugs and cash along with the weapons and those arrested were all held on suspicion of drugs offences.
The drug seizures included a 20-year-old man as he got off the train from Walsall to Cannock who the force said had 50 deals of heroin and crack in his socks.
Two vulnerable people were also found by officers as they searched 20 suspected "cuckooed" homes, places where gangs have taken over the place for criminal activity.
Twenty-three people have been arrested as part of a crackdown on county lines drug-dealing gangs.
Northumbria Police said it executed warrants in areas including Ashington, Sunderland, Newcastle, Gateshead (pictured) and South Shields - seizing cocaine, cannabis and ketamine, more than £20,000 in cash and three luxury watches.
The week-long operation was part of a UK-wide effort which saw 1,100 people arrested.
County line gangs are urban drug dealers who sell to customers in more rural areas via dedicated phone lines. It also sees people recruited by organised criminals to work for them in the supply chain.
Det Ch Insp Sue Fryer described it an a "monumental effort", adding: “While we do not see the levels of violence associated with county lines dealing prevalent in other areas here in the North East, we are working hard to keep it that way.”Copyright: Northumbria Police
By Alex Therrien
A gang enlisted the help of a cab driver to transport heroin and crack cocaine into Derby.
With astonishing access, BBC Three explores how gang members are using teenage drug runners to sell large amounts of crack and heroin miles away from home.
Panorama filmed officers trying to disrupt networks of dealers transporting drugs worth millions of pounds.
Several people have been arrested in a county lines operation, police say.
The West Midlands County Line Task Force worked with Warwickshire Police to raid on a property on Thursday.
Police released footage of the operation leading to a number of suspects being taken into custody.
By Colin Campbell
BBC South East Special Correspondent
By Jordan Davies