England

County lines: Police arrest 46 in raids across the UK

Police smash down a door during a morning raid in Lancaster Image copyright SKY/BBC
Image caption Police smash down a door during a morning raid in Lancaster

Police have arrested 46 people in a crackdown on county lines drug gangs in England and Scotland.

There were 11 raids on Tuesday against gangs who transport drugs.

Merseyside Police arrested 36 people during raids in Stockbridge Village, Old Swan, Netherton and Toxteth.

There were also raids in Lancashire, Perth in Tayside and Workington, Cumbria. British Transport Police (BTP) also arrested three people on the rail network.

The 46 were arrested on suspicion of various drug offences.

Image copyright ITV/BBC
Image caption Merseyside Police use an electric saw to cut through a door before knocking it down

Lancashire Police arrested five people in raids in Blackpool, Lancaster, Morecambe and Preston. There were also two arrests in Cumbria.

Officers seized "significant" quantities of Class A drugs, £20,000 at an address in Liverpool and an imitation firearm in Lancashire.

Police were also deployed at Aberdeen Airport and main railway stations in Wigan, Preston and Liverpool.

Assistant Chief Constable Ian Critchley of Merseyside Police said five "vulnerable" young people had been discovered.

He said: "Those responsible for these county lines bring misery to our local communities through their drug dealing and they also target and coerce young and vulnerable people into doing their dirty work."

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