Drug-busting detectives have carried out continued targeted strikes under Operation Sentinel to bring down a sophisticated County Lines network.
Three people in the Borders were arrested on suspicion of drugs-related offences as part of a major cross border police operation targeting so-called County Lines gangs.
Three people in Eyemouth – two men aged 34 and 45, and a woman aged 29 – were taken into custody along with a 40-year-old man in Berwick following raids last week.
A further five people were arrested in the Merseyside area during the targeted strikes.
Police say they also seized cocaine with a street value of more than £40,000 and cannabis worth over £3,000.
Detective Chief Inspector Jonathan Bensley, one of the leading officers from Northumbria Police, said: “These types of crimes cannot be tackled successfully without the outstanding partnership work that we all work so hard to achieve.
“The unified holistic approach we take in tandem helps secure strong evidence based investigations and swift convictions.”
Officers have been working with partner forces as well as National County Lines Co-ordination Centre and North East Regional Special Operations Unit (NERSOU) to help tackle the issue, as well as with local authorities and services that help safeguard those identified as at risk.
DCI Bensley added: “We will continue working with our partners across the country to protect the most vulnerable members of society and take the offenders who exploit them off our streets.”
Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness, said: “County Lines is something we’re working hard to prevent – this operation is one of many initiatives we have in place to tackle drugs gangs and protect the vulnerable people who are seen as easy targets for getting swept up in this criminal activity. We want to be doing everything we can to stop this.
“The success of tackling issues like this relies on strong, joined up working between forces, which has been evident here. It’s crucial that we come together with partners, with our communities, and try to stem this issue now.”
If you have suspicions or concerns around County Lines then you can report information to local police on 101 or via the British Transport Police if on the transport network.