Ten charged in county lines drugs crackdown following 14 deaths

Police set up Operation Horizon in the wake of the deaths in Barrow-in-Furness.

A total of 22 people were arrested as Class A drugs and thousands of pounds in cash were recovered.

The raids took place this week in Barrow, Coventry and London to disrupt the supply chain from other parts of the UK.

Police said they had spent around 10 months planning the raids which were carried out following the 14 drugs deaths seen in Barrow from December 2017.

Temporary Chief Superintendent Rob O’Connor said: “We understand that, rightly, county lines drug dealing is a concern for the Barrow community and we are working hard to disrupt the supply chain from other areas of the UK to Barrow.

“The fact we have travelled and arrested people from as far away as Coventry and London shows the determination we have to stem the supply of drugs into South Cumbria.

“I make no apologies for the fact that my officers over the last two days have forced entry to the homes of suspects and given them a rude awakening by dragging them out of their beds at six in the morning.

“People who deal drugs bring misery to others’ lives, and sadly we have seen too many people in South Cumbria die due to drug misuse. Too many people become victims of crime committed by addicts who break into people’s houses and cars to feed their addictions.”

Officers from Cumbria were assisted by the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit, the Metropolitan Police Service and West Midlands Police.

Last year, Sky News reported that drug runners are operating on 2,000 routes across England, using thousands of children in an industry which police believe is worth around £3m per day.

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