Drug traffickers who targeted users in a wealthy North Yorkshire city recently received a surprise text message from the police as part of the force crackdown on County Lines.
Earlier this month, North Yorkshire police successfully filed an application at Newcastle Crown Court for three telecommunications restriction orders on drugs to combat drug trafficking in Harrogate.
The court order allows the police to hire a drug dealer’s phone line and gives them the power to disconnect him on a specific date and time.
The order also prevents the transfer of the phone number and therefore of the associated contacts on any other device.
Valuable protected and often branded telephone lines allow out-of-town heroin and cocaine traders to send mass text messages that advertise their drugs for sale and when and where they can be collected. Eliminating them means no advertising, no sales and no profit for drug dealers.
Read more: Police want stricter restrictions on cell phones in an attempt to break drug gangs on county lines
Before the lines, known as the disabled Jerry, Teddy and Pat lines, North Yorkshire police detectives sent a message to all contacts connected to each telephone line to let them know that the North Yorkshire police now had possession of the lines and had taken all three off the net. They were deactivated at 3:00 pm on February 14th.
The agents also reported to users confidential help and support from drug support operators at the charity, North Yorkshire Horizons.
Detective Inspector Fionna McEwan of the Organized Crime Unit of the North Yorkshire Police said: “Orders are a useful stopping tactic to stop the flow of drugs. The police regularly seize cell phones from suspected drug dealers, but the associated numbers and contacts can be reactivated in a matter of hours. Orders allow us to drop the line and remove the phone number from circulation permanently, which means it can never be reactivated on another device, depriving dealers of the key means selling their drugs.
“They also offer us a rare opportunity to communicate directly with their customers, allowing us to provide advice directly to drug addicts who are often vulnerable and in need of support.
“We hope communities are reassured by the action we have taken and that when we say that drug trafficking on county lines is a priority for North Yorkshire police, we mean it seriously. We urge people to report any information they have. on drug trafficking in their communities. We will act. “