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  1. ITV Report

Police raid drug gangs across the West Midlands in 'County Lines' operations

Drug gangs have been targeted across the West Midlands as part of a national week of action against 'County Lines'.

West Midlands Police made 28 arrests and 15 warrants last week during their raids. They seized weapons costing almost £14,000 in cash and drugs, valued at more than £80,000.

Officers also safeguarded several vulnerable people, including children, who were suspected to be at risk of exploitation by drug gangs.

That included two 15-year-old Birmingham boys, who’d been reported missing. Officers found them at an address in Leamington Spa.

They ran from the back of the house and tried hiding behind a shed - when questioned later, they told police they were ‘'just chilling’'.

County Lines Intensification Week has seen police forces across the country sharing intelligence and joining forces to tackle drug supply chains.

Drugs and cash were seized during drug gangs Credit: West Midlands Police

Two 17-year-old male youths were charged with conspiracy to supply drugs after West Midlands and West Mercia police forces raided properties in the Black Country on Thursday 16 May.

Officers raided two addresses in Tipton; Jays Avenue and Howard Street plus a third in Blakeley Hall Road, Oldbury.

Around 300 wraps of Class A drugs were seized along with a mobile phone believed to be used as a drugs ‘hotline’ and £3,000 in cash.

Drugs and over £1,000 in cash were seized during the WMP blitz on County Lines drug gangs.

Six homes in Coventry were hit after police linked them to drug supplies into Leamington Spa, Rugby and north Oxfordshire.

On Monday 13 May, both West Midlands and Warwickshire Police officers seized 1.7kg of cocaine, bags of cannabis, several phones, £7,000 in cash and keys to cars believed to have been stolen during burglaries.

A 28-year-old woman was arrested and later charged with possessing drugs with intent to supply.

A teenage boy was detained at one property but later released without charge to be questioned at a later date.

On Tuesday 14 May officers arrested six people, seized heroin and weapons - including an improvised 'spear' made from a knife taped to a broom handle - after smashing a drugs den in the Foleshill area of Coventry.

Hundreds of vulnerable adults and children were spoken to about the threat of County Lines exploitation and offered safeguarding advice.

We are committed to dismantling drugs networks operating out of the West Midlands and to protect any young, vulnerable people who are exploited by gangs and subject to violence, fear and intimidation.

If anyone suspects a property in their community is being used by drugs gangs then I’d urge them to get in touch so we can take action.”

– Superintendent Rich Agar, West Midlands Police

The week of action coordinated by the National Crime Agency led to more than 500 arrests by UK police, plus the seizure of £312,649 in cash and Class A dugs valued at more than £200,000.