AS part of a national week of action targeting county lines drug dealing, officers safeguarded adults and children who were identified as vulnerable or at risk.

County lines refers to a crime where drugs gangs exploit children and vulnerable adults using them to courier drugs and money from the gang’s base to customers in towns across Devon and Cornwall. Sometimes the gangs are based locally and sometimes nationally.

The gangs use mobile phone messaging and social media platforms to advertise drugs for sale.

Activity took place across the length and breadth of the force. This included Neighbourhood and Child Centred Policing Teams carrying out educational and engagement visits to schools and colleges.

They also intervened with young people at hotspots, identified through intelligence, where drugs are known to be bought and used during high visibility patrols.

We’ve protected a number of people during safeguarding visits where people have been identified as vulnerable to exploitation through cuckooing, which is where the home of a vulnerable person is taken over by drug dealers.

Also, as part of the week of action a number of warrants under the Misuse of Drugs Act were carried out. Over the week, drug with an estimated value of over £35,000, nearly £11,000 in cash and weapons including a sword and three knives were located and seized.

On the roads, the No Excuses and Roads Policing Teams were out targeting those seeking to bring in and move drugs around the two counties.

Over the week a total of 43 people were arrested for offences including possession with intent to supply, importation of a banned substance, possession of an offensive weapon, and driving under the influence of a banned substance.

Inspector Ryan Northmore said: ‘Information reported to us by the public and partner agencies is compiled with intelligence gathered by officers to give us the best picture possible about what is happening in our communities.

‘We use this to look at where best to target our resources and tackle the issues that have been identified.

‘A significant part of county lines drug dealing is around exploitation of the vulnerable and that is a key focus for us.

‘Safeguarding can take a range of forms including referring people to our Community Safety Partners and drug treatment services, promoting education programmes delivered by the Children’s Society and engaging with those at risk.

‘I would urge everyone to be aware of the signs of exploitation and report any relevant information to us.

‘The message is simple – there is no place for drugs here and we will continue to relentlessly pursue those who intend to bring drugs and harm to our communities.’

► You can find more information about county lines including spotting the signs of exploitation and how to repot information to us on our website - What are county lines? | Devon and Cornwall Police (

► If you’re being ‘cuckooed’ or think you know someone who is, contact the police by reporting online or calling 101. Alternatively, call Crimestoppers 100% anonymously on 0800 555 111. If you are in an emergency situation, always call 999.


► 43 individuals arrested

► 68 individuals safeguarded

► 10 cuckooed addresses visited

► Class-A and Class-B drugs worth an estimated value of over £35,465

► £10,960 in cash seized

► Weapons seized including a stun gun, 3 knives, a small sword, a knuckle duster and an imitation firearm