'Crackdown on county lines drugs is working' say Warwickshire Police

Sussex Police
Sussex Police

Police say that tackling county lines drug dealing across the Warwick district has helped the county have one of the biggest reductions in crime across the country.

Drug crime in Warwickshire dropped 14 per cent last year.

The decrease was revealed last week in the crime data for 2018 published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). It was the second biggest reduction in the country.

Warwickshire Police have said that this reduction follows on from their focus on targeting county lines drug crime in the county, which is where gangs transport drugs from bigger cities into smaller towns.

In April The Courier reported that two women involved in ferrying thousands of pounds worth of drugs from Birmingham to Warwick and Leamington were found guilty by a jury and are currently awaiting sentencing.

Then in November 2018, five members of a drug gang were jailed for more the 20 years for their role in shipping drugs from Birmingham into Warwick and Leamington.

Detective Superintendent Neil Harrison said: "I'm pleased to see the drop in drug crime in Warwickshire and have no doubt that our work to tackle county lines drug crime has played a significant part in this.

"Drug crime has a huge impact on people, especially the most vulnerable members of the community.

"Drug dealing often leads to violent crime as dealers compete for supremacy, and petty crime as users try to fund their habit. By focusing on drug crime we are also tackling other types of crime that impact on the local community.

"The reduction in drug crime and total recorded crime reinforces our message that Warwickshire Police and its partners work hard to protect people who live, work and visit the county. It should also send a strong message to criminals that you are not welcome in the county and we are being proactive in looking for you."

The ONS data for 2018 also showed a one per cent drop in total recorded crime in the county. The force was one of seven in the country to record a reduction.

Warwickshire Police Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe said that there were also decreases across bicycle thefts, sexual offences, shoplifting, burglary, theft and criminal damage and arson.

In his newsletter Phillip Seccombe also said there had been some increases in reports of violence against the person, and non-injury violent crimes. He also said there had been an increase of four per cent in knife crime reports and that robbery and theft from the person offences, showed rises of 23 per cent and 10 per cent respectively.

Talking about the crime stats he said: “There has been a huge amount of work carried out by my office, the police and our community safety partners in Warwickshire over the past year to reduce levels of crime, so these latest reductions are encouraging.

"I am sure the public will welcome the news that burglary, theft, drugs, sexual offences and shoplifting have all seen significant reductions in reports over the past 12 months.

"We must not be complacent though and there will continue to be a concerted effort to reduce crime in all categories, with particular emphasis on the offences that cause the greatest harm and concern to the public.

"I am putting greater resources into Warwickshire Police this year to enable the recruitment of additional police officers and crime investigators to tackle these types of offences, alongside the many initiatives I fund to prevent crime from occurring in the first place.

"Overall, I am determined to see crime levels fall further to deliver on my promise of a safer, more secure Warwickshire."