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Police storm through homes as part of national week-long action against county lines

PUBLISHED: 06:30 15 October 2018

Police raid a property in Albert Place, Norwich.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Police raid a property in Albert Place, Norwich. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2018

Doors were reduced to match wood as police officers stormed the homes of suspected drug dealers across the county.

This formed part of a national week of action against county line drug dealing between Monday, October 8 and Sunday, October 14.

County lines is the name given to a drug dealing methodology which involves criminal networks from urban centres expanding their activities into smaller towns or rural areas.

Dealers typically use a single phone line to facilitate the supply of class A drugs, frequently heroin and crack cocaine, to customers. The line becomes a valuable brand and is protected with violence and intimidation, especially of vulnerable adults and children.

Police raid a property in Albert Place, Norwich.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYPolice raid a property in Albert Place, Norwich. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Norfolk Police launched Operation Gravity in a bid to tackle county line drug dealing, and since its launch in December 2016 they have made more than 750 arrests.

During the week of action, officers pursued offenders, seized assets, carried out search warrants and monitored public spaces for street activity.

But more importantly, officers were encouraged to speak to locals in the areas that they search, as public support has led to more reports of illegal drug activity and knife crime in the county.

Police raid a property in Albert Place, Norwich.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYPolice raid a property in Albert Place, Norwich. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

On an intelligence-led operation on Monday, officers raided a property in Albert Place, Norwich, a quiet cul-de-sac sitting on top of the steep roads off Gas Hill.

Officers swooped through the home after smashing through the wooden door, screaming for those inside to stay where they were as they charged through every room.

Inside, the home was unlike what would be expected of a drug dealer’s den - immediately after entering through the shattered door officers were greeted with a ‘home’ and ‘welcome’ sign hanging on the walls.

Police raid a property in Albert Place, Norwich.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYPolice raid a property in Albert Place, Norwich. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

The two-bedroom apartment was decorated with carefully place ornaments throughout, with a stack of perfectly-lined teddy bears in the bedroom and ‘I love mum’ card in the cabinet.

Officers made a thorough search of the property, rummaging through drawers, cupboards, wardrobes and boxes, leaving no trinket unturned.

While the majority of raids of this kind are successful, this particular raid found no evidence of crime within the seemingly loving home.

Police raid a property in Albert Place, Norwich.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYPolice raid a property in Albert Place, Norwich. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Officers moved on to the next warrant but not before knocking on neighbours’ doors to find out more about drug activity in the area.

Anyone with information about illegal drugs activity should contact Norfolk police on 101.

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