Sword and cocaine recovered as part of Bedford county lines warrant

Charge/Arrest Bedford Bedfordshire Police

During a police operation targeting county lines drug dealing, a significant quantity of suspected Class A drugs and a sword have been recovered at an address in Bedford town centre.

A man in his 30s and a woman in her 20s were arrested following the operation at two addresses in Beckett Street off Greyfriars this morning (Tuesday).

Two large bags of what officers suspected to be cocaine were recovered, alongside a fencing sword and items which could be associated with the supply of drugs.

Another man at one of the addresses was offered safeguarding support by officers.

Detective Sergeant Graham Williams said, “We know that county lines dealers are operating in Bedford and looking to exploit vulnerable people as part of their criminal network.

“This can include targeting alcoholics, drug addicts and those with poor mental health in a practice known as cuckooing, where the dealers will take over their home and use it as a base from which to make and sell illegal drugs.

“We will not tolerate this kind of behaviour in our county and will continue to make Bedfordshire a hostile place for drug dealers to operate, as well as providing support for those who are at risk of exploitation.”

This marks the latest phase of a police crackdown on county lines coming into Bedfordshire.

Two lines coming into Bedford from other areas have been dismantled already this year, with those involved jailed for a total of 11-and-a-half years.

Bedfordshire Police’s dedicated county lines team, Operation Nola, has made more than 60 arrests and seized around £20,000 worth of drugs since it launched last year.

Overall across 2018, Bedfordshire officers seized around £1 million of drugs from dealers, gave evidence in 156 drug trafficking cases and seized more than £400,000 of criminal cash.

Since January 2018, 219 people linked to organised crime groups (OCGs) have been arrested, while across the force OCG offenders have been jailed for a total of 338 years over the same timeframe.

If you suspect someone is at risk of being exploited by organised crime, please report it to police on 101 or via the online reporting centre on the Bedfordshire Police website.

You can also contact Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.