County lines drug dealing in Norfolk to be raised in Parliament

Norfolk police raiding a property suspected of dealing drugs in Heathgate, Norwich as part of Operat

Norfolk police have been cracking down on county lines drug dealing. - Credit: Archant

Norfolk's efforts to tackle the scourge of county lines drug dealing are to be raised in the House of Commons.

And Duncan Baker, MP for North Norfolk, will ask the attorney general what assessment has been made over how effective the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is in prosecuting offences.

County lines are where drugs gangs set up distribution networks into provincial towns or cities, often using children and vulnerable people as runners.

Often based in major cities such as London or Liverpool, the gang leaders remain there to take the lion’s share of any profit, while young and vulnerable people are exploited.

Children are used as 'mules' by those dealers to peddle the drugs, while vulnerable adults can find themselves 'cuckooed', with their homes taken over for the purpose of drug dealing.

Norfolk police has, in recent years, made hundreds of arrests in connection with county lines, through a series of operations aimed at disrupting supplies and snaring those behind the crimes.

Networks have been broken up and there have been numerous convictions following court action.

Conservative MP Mr Baker will raise the issue of County Lines in Norfolk with attorney general Suella Braverman in the House of Commons on Thursday (November 18) morning.

North Norfolk MP Duncan Baker has been getting an increased number of dog theft reports. 

North Norfolk MP Duncan Baker has been getting an increased number of dog theft reports. - Credit: Archant

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Mr Baker will ask what recent assessment has been made of the effectiveness of the CPS in prosecuting offences relating to county lines drug dealing.

Mr Baker said: "I think Norfolk police have a good strategy to deal with county lines.

"Thursday will give me the opportunity to congratulate Norfolk police on they good work they are doing in this county.

"But what I have got concerns about is whether the CPS has the tools to land successful prosecutions.

"In a rural area like Norfolk, county lines is a huge problem and I want to be sure that can be successfully challenged."

Last month, police arrested a dozen people as part of a week of action focusing on county lines drug dealing in Norfolk.

Police made arrests at homes in Norwich, Horsford and King's Lynn.

People were arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply Class A drugs and for alleged human trafficking.

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