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County Lines Drug Dealing

Volume 691: debated on Thursday 18 March 2021

What recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the CPS in prosecuting offences relating to county lines drug dealing. (913656)

The Crown Prosecution Service and the police are working closely throughout the country to protect against the threats of county lines drug dealing and safeguard vulnerable victims in Norfolk. CPS East of England successfully prosecuted 26 cases between November 2019 and September 2020, securing sentences of up to seven years, and specialist training is offered to CPS prosecutors who undertake county lines work and prosecutions. The Government’s serious violence strategy details the range of actions being taken to tackle the impact of county lines.

I am grateful to the Attorney General for his response. My local police force in Norfolk has one of the best and most robust responses to tackling county lines drug dealing in the country and has made thousands of arrests to deal with the problem over the years. Does my right hon. and learned Friend agree that the message is clear: “Come to Norfolk to deal drugs and you will be targeted, arrested and jailed”?

I commend my hon. Friend for making that point, and he is absolutely right. I thank him for his support for the prosecution of these odious offenders and offences. My hon. Friend clearly recognises, on behalf of his constituents, the challenges of county lines investigations, which can be complicated and onerous. The CPS intends to carry out a review of its ongoing work, including its effectiveness in prosecuting county lines offending this year. My hon. Friend is absolutely right to highlight the work in Norfolk, as I did a moment ago, and I reiterate my thanks for his support.