Five arrested for offences including human trafficking and drug possession as part of county lines crackdown in Bedfordshire

Officers also visited five hotels and taxi firms in Bedford to raise awareness about exploitation

Friday, 28th May 2021, 10:36 am
Updated Friday, 28th May 2021, 10:36 am

Five people have been arrested in Bedfordshire as part of a county lines crackdown.

Those held were suspected of a range of offences including drug possession and supply, false imprisonment and human trafficking offences in relation to suspected county lines activity.

Officers also visited five hotels and taxi firms in Bedford to raise awareness about the exploitation involved in county lines, how to spot the signs and report concerns.

Five people have been arrested in Bedfordshire as part of a county lines crackdown

This included looking out for young people travelling alone and looking lost, as well as stressing the importance of having a conversation and asking questions of potential victims, as not all exploitation is noticeable.

The Children’s Society charity also gave a number of awareness raising sessions with railway station staff in the county, as young people exploited by county lines gangs often travel by taxi, train or private hire vehicle.

One man from Bedfordshire has subsequently been charged with conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and has been remanded into custody.

Others arrested in the county as part of the week of action have since either been bailed or released under investigation, as officers continue with their enquiries.

Five people have been arrested in Bedfordshire as part of a county lines crackdown

Across the region over the week:

>104 arrests were made, largely for drugs supply, drugs possession and weapons offences

>More than 75 people were safeguarded, with officers visiting over a hundred addresses thought to be linked to ‘cuckooing’ – a practice where vulnerable people’s homes are taken over and used for criminal purposes

>Approximately £9,000 of crack cocaine and £9,000 of heroin was seized, along with amounts of cannabis and cocaine

>Nearly £55,000 in suspected criminal cash was recovered

>13 knives were seized, along with knuckle busters, baseball bats and a baton

>Assets suspected to be linked to criminal activity, including mobile phones, an e-scooter, a car and expensive clothing were also seized