Six people arrested in Weston drugs bust

PUBLISHED: 15:47 20 February 2019 | UPDATED: 14:12 21 February 2019

Picture: Mark Atherton

Picture: Mark Atherton

Archant

Six people were arrested in Weston-super-Mare yesterday (Tuesday) after reports a vulnerable person's home may have been used for supplying drugs.

A 36-year-old man and a 22-year-old man from Weston, and two 18-year-old men, an 18-year-old woman and a 28-year-old man, all from Birmingham, were arrested at a home in Bristol Road-Lower, all on suspicion of possession with intent to supply class A drugs.

A large amount of cash, scales, phones and a quantity of suspected class A drugs were also seized.

All six arrested people were released under investigation this morning (Wednesday).

Police received reports the house may have been cuckooed, which occurs when drug dealers use violence, exploitation and intimidation to take over the home of a vulnerable person in order to use it as a base for drug dealing.

Neighbourhood Sergeant for Weston, Lee Kerslake, said: “We all know drugs have a negative impact on our communities, with anti-social behaviour and other crimes such as theft and burglary committed by users looking to fund their habits.

“But what we are seeing with county lines, is the targeting of young people and vulnerable adults by ruthless drug dealers who do not care who they exploit or hurt.

“The challenge of dismantling these lines is a very real and complex one, not just for law enforcement, but for safeguarding, health and educational professionals as well.”

Cuckooing is often associated with county lines drug dealing, where gangs and organised criminal networks from big cities use mobile phone lines to establish drugs supply chains in smaller towns.

The four people from Birmingham have been given community protection warnings (CPWs) which state they cannot enter Weston, unless to attend court or pre-arranged appointments with the police.

The two Weston people have also been given CPWs, requiring written permission from landlords to be at the address which they must present to a police officer on request.

Police have urged people who may be at risk of cuckooing, or have any concerns about possible drug dealing in their area, to contact the charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or through an online form.

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