22 people have been arrested and 10 charged following raids targeting illegal drugs suppliers operating in Cumbria, according to police reports.
The arrests happened in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, as well as in Coventry and London on 8 and 9 January, aimed at the town’s drug dealers and those supplying them. This latest police operation is part of a wider crackdown on drug dealing in the area following a rise in drug-related deaths in Cumbria in early 2018.
The arrests in Coventry and London are related to those believed to be supplying drugs to Barrow-in-Furness from London, part of a process referred to as ‘county lines’.
The raids carried out across the country are part of an undercover police investigation, Operation Horizon, that Cumbria Constabulary has been running since May. The operations goal was to target a county lines drug dealing gang, known as ‘Barry’, alleged to be responsible to transporting drugs and people from London and Coventry to Barrow-in-Furness.
As part of the raids, police also seized thousands of pounds in cash, as well as significant quantities of heroin and crack cocaine.
Cumbria Constabulary’s temporary Chief Superintendent Rob O'Connor said the arrests show “how determined we are to stem the flow of drugs into south Cumbria”.
Supt O’Connor highlighted the addition of 25 new police officers dedicated to community policing to Cumbria Constabulary, whose officers were also assisted by West Midlands police, the Metropolitan Police Service and the north-west regional organised crime unit.
Supt O’Connor also said: ““I make no apologies for the fact that my officers over the last two days have forced entry to the homes of suspects and given them a rude awakening by dragging them out of their beds at six in the morning.
“People who deal drugs bring misery to others’ lives, and sadly we have seen too many people in south Cumbria die due to drug misuse. Too many people become victims of crime committed by addicts who break into people’s houses and cars to feed their addictions.”
While only 10 of the 22 people arrested have so far been charged, it is possible that further charges will be brought in the days to come and that more arrests could yet take place as part of the wider operation.
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