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24 August 2019
WILTSHIRE'S police commissioner said on a recent raid he found a young boy and his mother in the same drugs den as a 12-inch knife and machete.
Angus Macpherson, the county's police and crime commissioner, urged the government to pile more resources into tackling the scourge of County Lines drug dealing in rural counties like Wiltshire.
Writing on his blog, he said the threat from the city drugs gangs was nothing new for Wiltshire officers: "I've seen it for myself having spent time with our Dedicated Crime Teams. I joined officers visiting premises in Trowbridge, which had been served closure orders. These are flats and houses targeted by gangs and where the occupiers, are "cuckooed" by the drug dealers.
"In one flat, we found a young lad and his mother. There was also another lad, who refused to say who he was, just a forename. By a chair lay a 12-inch knife and a machete. He appeared to be 'cuckooing' and was subsequently arrested and taken in for questioning.
"County Lines knows no bounds or borders."
He cited a recent government funding push, with cash given to urban police forces to target the drugs gangs.
But Mr Macpherson bristled: "Wiltshire as a rural county is often at the end of whichever County Line as large gangs use our towns to push their drugs.
"I would argue that rural forces like ours need funding to tackle our end of the County Lines operation."