Lancashire Constabulary Logo

17 arrests made and cash and drugs seized across East Lancashire as part of County Lines Intensification Week 

Friday, March 15, 2024

17 people have been arrested and almost £150,000 has been seized from across East Lancashire, as part of a major national operation to crackdown on County Lines offenders. 

Last week, officers from East division, which covers the areas of Blackburn with Darwen, Burnley, Hyndburn, Pendle, the Ribble Valley and Rossendale, took part in a range of targeted activity for County Lines Intensification Week. 

Weapons and suspected Class A and Class B drugs were also recovered during the week and officers and staff took part in several protection and prevention activities. These included educational school and youth group visits to young people and inputs with parents who were encouraged to make themselves aware of the signs of exploitation. 

County Lines is the transportation of illegal drugs from one area to another, usually by children or vulnerable adults who are coerced into it by criminal gangs, often having a devastating impact on those involved and the local communities. 

Here’s what we did as part of the week across East Lancashire:

  • 11 warrants conducted
  • 17 people arrested
  • 36 vulnerable people visited and safeguarded
  • A quantity of drugs seized, including cocaine, cannabis, ketamine and LSD.
  • Cash totalling over £148,612 seized
  • 12 weapons including a machete, an axe and an imitation firearm seized
  • 18 phones seized

Detective Chief Inspector Tom Edmondson said: “Last week’s activity is just a snapshot of the work carried out every day to disrupt those involved in organised crime and tackle County Lines. 

“Along with our partners in Health, Education and Children’s Social Services, we will continue this work so that those who are vulnerable to exploitation can be safeguarded appropriately. 

“We will relentlessly pursue offenders and put them before the courts of make our streets safer.” 

Andrew Snowden, Police and Crime Commissioner for Lancashire said: "Tackling county lines and cross border criminals is a key part of my Fighting Crime Plan, with Op Warrior dismantling organised crime gangs that often operate across county borders.

"Since launching Op Warrior, the number of raids, arrests and drug seizures speak for themselves. We have been stepping up the pressure on those who destroy lives and damage communities, and we won't stop making Lancashire a hostile place for offenders, wherever they are from.

"Organised crime gangs bring fear, violence, drugs and exploitation into Lancashire, and with county lines it's even more important to utilise the relationships we have with partners such as the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit, National Crime Agency and other police forces, to keep people safe and ensure offenders have their day in court.

"I want to thank Lancashire residents for their continued support, and I hope that seeing these results encourages them to continue to report suspicious activity, either directly to the police or anonymously to Crimestoppers." 

During the week, officers, along with the Lancashire Police Cadets, distributed leaflets encouraging members of the public to be aware of the signs of exploitation. Some of these signs include children frequently going missing and then returning home, having more clothes, mobile phones, or cash than usual, receiving excessive text messages or phone calls and disengagement from school. 

For more information and how to spot the signs of exploitation, visit County Lines - Spot The Signs | Eyes Open ( 

If you believe that someone may be involved in County Lines or other drugs activity, you can report it to us by calling 101. 

Alternatively, you can report it via the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or report your concerns anonymously online at Crimestoppers-uk-org. If you think someone is in immediate danger, call 999.