Drugs: Organised Crime

Home Office written question – answered on 5th February 2021.

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Photo of John Lamont John Lamont Conservative, Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent discussions her Department has had with (a) Police Scotland and (b) the British Transport Police on county lines.

Photo of Kit Malthouse Kit Malthouse The Minister of State, Home Department

The Home Office and its operational partners work closely with both Police Scotland and the British Transport Police, both of whom have a key role in addressing county lines drug dealing. Regular dialogue takes place with the British Transport Police on county lines, and through our investment the British Transport Police has established a dedicated taskforce focusing on county lines operations. We are also funding the National County Lines Coordination Centre (NCLCC) to co-ordinate the national law enforcement response to county lines and NCLCC regularly engage with Police Scotland. County lines was also discussed at the UK Drugs Ministerial in September, which was attended by HO and Scottish Government ministers and by Police Scotland among others.

This Government is determined to crack down on the county lines gangs who are exploiting our children and have a devastating impact on our communities. That is why, on 20 January the Government announced £40m dedicated investment to tackle drugs supply and county lines and surge our activity against these ruthless gangs. This will allow us to expand and build upon the successful results of our existing £25m county lines programme. In September 2020 NCLCC coordinated a county lines ‘week of intensification’ which included all forces, including Police Scotland. This resulted in over 1,000 arrests, drugs worth more than £1m seized and over 1,500 vulnerable individuals safeguarded.

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