Police in Worthing in 'significant operation' today against drug dealing gangs

Police in Worthing have been out in force today targeting county lines drug dealing.

Thursday, 7th March 2019, 4:23 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th March 2019, 4:30 pm
Police have been seen out and about in the town today as part of the operation. Pictures: Sussex Police

Officers have been seen across the town and also on the roads and railways.

Chief Inspector Miles Ockwell said: "We are running a significant operation targeting County Lines using the road network coming into Worthing."

In one operation this morning, police stopped a 'vehicle of interest' in Hillside Avenue.

However nothing was found and the driver was allowed to go on their way, police confirmed.

What is county lines drug dealing?

County lines is a term used by police and partner agencies to refer to drug networks - both gangs and organised crime groups - from large urban areas such as London, who use children and young people and vulnerable adults to carry out illegal activity on their behalf.

One of the most harrowing features of county lines drug dealing is violent gangs taking over the homes of vulnerable people. This is known as 'cuckooing'.

Police have been seen out and about in the town today as part of the operation. Pictures: Sussex Police

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How you can spot county lines drug dealing in your area

'Sussex is not tolerant of drugs'

Following today's operation, a spokesman for Sussex Police said: "We’ve been tackling drug supply throughout Worthing today, with a visible presence on the roads, rails and streets.

"We are here to send a clear message that Sussex is not tolerant of drugs, and to keep residents safe and feeling safe."

Police are battling county lines in Worthing, as their colleagues are doing around the country

Ch Insp Ockwell, who serves as divisional commander for Adur and Worthing, said last month that his officers are making real progress against big city gangs selling drugs on our streets.

He said: “Drug issues have a huge impact on the community and we want to send out a strong message that we will not tolerate this type of behaviour.

“We are carrying out daily action including the use of warrants, stop and search and proactive patrols to allow us to make arrests where required.

“Increases in the policing element of the council tax precept are allowing us to increase our numbers, visibility and resilience within Worthing and the surrounding areas."

Police seen by the seafront