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County Lines Drug Dealing: Prosecutions

Volume 703: debated on Thursday 18 November 2021

6. What recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the CPS in prosecuting offences relating to county lines drug dealing. (904192)

The CPS’s early investigative advice on county lines with the police is making a difference. The majority of county lines offending relates to drug convictions and human trafficking. This year—although these figures do not relate to county lines offending alone—the CPS has secured 36,000 drug convictions and 238 human-trafficking convictions.

I want to place on record my thanks to Norfolk police; last month, it arrested 12 county lines drug dealers in a week-long crackdown against drugs across Norfolk. That is to be hugely applauded. I just want to check: do the police have the right support and, more importantly, does the CPS have all the tools that it needs and the resources to prosecute drug-dealing across our country successfully?

My hon. Friend raises an important point. I applaud his police team in Norfolk for their great results. In the east of England, Operation Orochi has led to significant terms of imprisonment imposed on 42 offenders convicted. As of October 2021, the number of county lines operations covered by the operation has been more than halved. They work closely with the police, leading to a high volume of convictions since November 2019.