Hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of drugs have been seized by a police team in Dorset since its creation less than two years ago.

Since its inception in August 2018, the West Dorset County Lines Team has been busy tackling the emerging threat posed by county lines drug gangs to the most vulnerable sections of society.

The team has been assisted by Neighbourhood Policing Teams, Response Policing Teams, Special Constabulary, CID, partner agencies and the communities of west Dorset to break up county lines operations.

Dorset Police describes county lines as "the term used to describe urban gangs supplying drugs to other parts of the UK using dedicated mobile phone lines. The gangs are likely to exploit children and vulnerable adults in order to move and store drugs and money. To do this they will often use coercion, intimidation, violence and weapons.

"The deal line is often treated as a ‘brand’ for the gangs who generally focus on supplying Class A drugs like heroin or crack cocaine.

"An operating base is an essential feature of county lines gangs. They will regularly exploit vulnerable people, by building up a debt or using threats and violence in order to take over a person’s home. This practice is commonly referred to as cuckooing."

It has been revealed that from August 8, 2018 to May 27, 2020 the team made more than 300 arrests and has conducted more than 450 searches of people.

During that period, the team also seized drugs with a street value of more than £330,000, with the average drug seizure being worth more than £2,200. Police have also seized more than £95,000 in cash.

The team managed to proactively safeguard more than 130 children since its inception, either because they are directly or indirectly involved in county lines, or through other vulnerabilities that required intervention or assessment by police and partner agencies.

More than 260 referrals were made by the team to its partner agencies.

You can help Dorset Police crack down on county lines drug gangs by ensuring you know what signs to look for and reporting any suspicions to the police.

You can report any suspicious activity online at or alternatively if you wish to speak to someone call 101. If you’d prefer to contact someone anonymously, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.