More than £40,000 has been seized and 32 arrests have been made in a multi-police force operation in the U.K. to tackle drug supply and associated violent crime.
Officers from London’s Metropolitan (Met) Police worked alongside colleagues from the counties of Essex and Kent, and British Transport Police in a joint operation on July 22 to apprehend violent criminals using the roads and rail networks to transport drugs in and out of London, Kent and Essex.
Officers used Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras at fixed sites around the Dartford Crossing, and targeted vehicles believed to be linked to violent crime.
A range of officers from the Met were involved, including Operation Venice, the Violent Crime Taskforce, South East Violence Suppression Unit, Dogs Support Unit, Roads and Transport Policing Command, as well as Specialist Crime officers.
British Transport Police also conducted intelligence-led patrols on the trains in and out of London as well as transport hubs at key routes as part of the operation, to target those using the rail network to transport drugs.
The operation resulted in:
- 32 arrests for offenses including possession of an offensive weapon, being concerned in the supply of class A drugs and drug driving.
- Seven offensive weapons recovered
- More than £40,000 cash seized
- 14 vehicles seized for motoring offences and three stolen vehicles recovered
The same operation last month resulted in 27 arrests, as officers work to stop organized crime groups importing drugs into the U.K.
In addition, British Transport Police’s County Lines Taskforce has been carrying out operations across England, Wales and Scotland, since December 2019, often with the support of local forces. Each operation tackles gangs who use the railway network to move drugs and, in the process, exploit vulnerable people and children.