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  1. ITV Report

Knives, drugs and cash seized in Cambridgeshire county lines crackdown

Cambridgeshire police seized 872 wraps of drugs Credit: ITV News

Two knives and 872 wraps of drugs have been seized in a county lines crackdown by police in Cambridgeshire.

Officers arrested 17 people - including eight teenagers - for a range of offences including possession with intent to supply a class A drug, possession of a blade, and being concerned in the supply of class A drugs.

The week-long offensive by police concentrated on Peterborough and Cambridge and targeted those involved in so-called "county lines" drug crime.

County lines sees gangs from larger cities such as London expanding their operations to smaller areas, often driving out local dealers and exploiting children and vulnerable people.

17 people were arrested including eight teenagers Credit: ITV News

"Nationally we are seeing this become more of an issue, with serious street based violence on the increase often being related to drugs.

"We see time and time again, young individuals getting drawn into being street-level drug dealers. The reality of becoming involved in such a lifestyle often involves exploitation, abuse and high levels of violence - sometimes with deadly consequences."

– Det Ch Insp Alan Page, Cambridgeshire Police
Police in Cambridgeshire had a week-long crackdown on county lines crime Credit: ITV News

Cambridgeshire Police said they had seized around £10,000 worth of crack cocaine, heroin, cocaine and cannabis, as well as two knives and £15,206 in cash.

The crackdown involved targeted patrols, search warrants being carried out and "stop and search".

In Peterborough, 12 people were arrested including one 17-year-old boy, an 18-year-old man and three 19-year-olds. In Cambridge, three of the five people arrested were 18 or under.

New figures released this week by the Office of National Statistics found knife crime - which is often linked to county lines - was at a record high nationally.

In Cambridgeshire, however, the number of recorded knife crimes between July 2018 and June 2019 actually dropped by 22% compared with the previous 12 months.

Elsewhere in the region, the figures were up 57% in Bedfordshire and 46% in Suffolk. In Norfolk, the number of recorded knife crimes rose by 18% and in Hertfordshire there was a 16% increase.

Only Essex and Cambridgeshire saw decreases.