POLICE seized more than £65,000 of cash, £17,000 worth of drugs and arrested 100 people last week in the Thames Valley region.

The week of raids were to target ‘County Lines’ as part of their Stronghold campaign, which involved seizing 1,435 wraps of cocaine, crack cocaine and heroin worth over £17,000.

They also recovered £65,983 in cash and found 17 weapons along with 118 mobile phones and carried out 166 stop and searches and 35 vehicle stop checks.

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Altogether, officers identified 19 vulnerable people and worked with partners across the three counties to safeguard them and attended 100 addresses where ‘cuckooing’ has previously taken place.

Cuckooing is where drug dealer entices a vulnerable person – who is usually lonely, isolated or a drug user - into allowing their home to be used for drug dealing by giving them free drugs or offering to pay for food or utilities.

Detective Chief Superintendent Richard List, said: “This intensification week is good evidence of this robust commitment to protect the public and bring offenders to justice.

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“We will be relentless in our pursuit of those who are involved in this activity and who regularly use violence and intimidation to target young and vulnerable people in our communities.”

As part of the Stronghold campaign, officers have been going to schools, taxi firms, landlords and hotels to advise them on how to spot the signs of County Lines drugs.

This week police made 111 education visits.

County Lines drug dealing is the name given to drug dealing where organised criminal group OCGs use phone lines to move and supply drugs, usually from cities into smaller towns and rural areas.

Mr List added: “In this week of action we have seen significant seizures of drugs, cash, mobile phones and weapons, but we have also worked closely with our partners to identify people at risk of being exploited by ‘County Lines’ drug dealers and safeguarded them.

“Education forms a vital part of our ongoing work to tackle serious and organised crime and I am pleased that our officers have been engaging with schools, taxi drivers, landlords and hotel owners in order to provide them with information on spotting the signs of exploitation."