Travelling criminals targeted by Op Galaxy

Forcewide

23 Jun 2020

Criminals active in our area are not always local.  Some people manage their criminal activity from a distance of hundreds of miles.  That does bring challenges to the detectives who investigate these crimes but doesn’t mean that we can’t reach them and bring them to justice.

A type of criminal drug dealing activity, known as ‘county lines’, causes untold misery to the people it involves and places a huge demand on the police across the country.

What are County Lines?

The ‘county line’ is basically a phone line that provides a link between local drug users and organised crime gangs from cities as far afield as Liverpool and London.

Often vulnerable young people are used to ‘run’ drugs into our towns and cities using the road and rail networks to travel into our area and supply local drug users.

DI Rich Osgerby explains more:

What are we doing about it?

We know how drugs wreck lives and livelihoods and our communities have told us that it is one of the biggest problems to them.  They want to be able to live and bring their kids up in a safe environment, they don’t want their families seeing drug dealing on their streets or have a house next door taken over by people to deal drugs.

Humberside Police have been specifically targeting this area of crime as part of Op Galaxy’s intensified action.

DI Rich Osgerby explains how Op Galaxy has helped tackle county lines drugs gangs:

 

 

How can you help?

Whether you live in North/North East Lincolnshire or the East Riding of Yorkshire we want to hear from anyone who suspects drug dealing activity in their communities.

We rely on the community working with us and need their help to tell us about suspicious or unusual activity in their local area.

Keep an eye out on what’s happening in your area – call us on 101 and report anything suspicious, especially if you see an unusual amount of visitors at an address or unknown people attending a vulnerable person’s home.

Have you noticed a change in your children’s behaviour and activities? If you notice your children coming home with cash, gifts and clothing that cannot be explained please call us, we want to protect vulnerable children and target those looking to exploit them.

DI Rich Osgerby asks for your help to continue providing information about drug activity in your communities:

What’s happening in North and North East Lincolnshire to tackle county lines?

South bank Detective Chief Inspector Doug Blackwood said: “The drugs warrants that have taken place throughout June under Op Galaxy are part of ongoing work to disrupt and dismantle organised crime groups involved in drugs in the Grimsby area, and to provide care and support to their victims.

“These groups groom and exploit young and vulnerable people into selling drugs, known as county lines, or using their homes as a base for drug dealing, known as cuckooing, and draw them into becoming embroiled in a world of criminality and violence that they feel they can’t escape from.

“Those people operating in these crime groups do not care about their victims and any suffering they endure.

“Neither are they concerned about the impact their criminality has on the local community, of the decent families who live in our towns who witness crime and antisocial behaviour near their homes.

“Protecting young and vulnerable people from those who want to exploit them into a life of crime is one of our highest priorities as a Force at all times.  During Op Galaxy, with the intensive five-weeks of action, we are able to make a much bigger impact on the organised crime groups who carry out this type of criminality.

What’s happening in Hull and the East Riding of Yorkshire to tackle county lines?

North bank Detective Inspector Richard Osgerby said, “Op Galaxy has provided the additional investigation staff to make a huge impact on travelling ‘County Lines’ drugs gangs operating in our area.

“Taking tens of thousands of pounds worth of drugs and cash off the streets of Hull and the East Riding will send a stark message to those people from out of our area looking to commit crime in our area - if you want to come and deal drugs of our patch then we will deal with you.”

What is cuckooing? - DI Rich Osgerby explains in more detail:

We are dedicated to tackling the issues of county lines to make our communities safer for everyone. 

DI Rich Osgerby closes by explaining what drives him, his team and the Force to deal with drugs gangs active in our area.

 

There is also a short video ‘Alfie’s Story’ about Alfie, aged 13, is groomed into thinking he finally belongs to a family after having a tough upbringing. Based in Grimsby, Alfie befriends a group that slowly begin to use him to transport drugs. The story follows Alfie’s journey of criminal exploitation with the aim to raise awareness of the signs, how it can happen and the consequences it can have for all involved.