Officers arrested a 17-year-old boy in Swindon town centre last night who had travelled from London to deliver drugs to users in the town.
As part of their work to tackle county lines drugs gangs in the county, officers carried out a proactive stop in the town centre.
The 17-year-old, who was found to have approximately £1,000 worth of crack cocaine and heroin concealed on his person, was arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of class A drugs.
The boy was in company of a 20-year-old local man, who was found to be in possession of two knives.
He was arrested on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon in a public place and possession of a class B drug. Both have been released under investigation while enquiries continue.
Detective Inspector Paul Franklin said: “Sadly, this is the harsh reality of county lines.
“The teenager arrested was a missing person from the London area – his parent had reported him missing on Saturday after he had left the family home to go to the shop and never returned. All too often we are seeing young people – some who have never had any dealings with the police before – becoming embroiled in county lines after they are falsely promised money and a glamorous lifestyle. They soon find out that this couldn’t be further from the reality.
“The county lines model relies on violence and threats of violence, which is why we very often seize knives and other weapons as part of our proactive raids.
“We know the public are concerned about knife crime, particularly in towns like Swindon and Trowbridge, where we have seen an increase in violent crime.
“And it is important to make clear that when we have incidents involving stabbings, they are very often linked to county lines.
“People involved at all levels of the model are vulnerable to extreme violence – those who owe money or drugs to dealers, those who are targeted by rival gangs who want to deal on their patch, young people and children who are threatened with violence so they are too scared to get themselves out of the life of crime they have been drawn into.”
A third person was arrested yesterday evening – a 21-year-old man from Swindon was arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of class A drugs. This takes yesterday’s arrest total to 11 and 22 arrests in total for Monday and Tuesday.