Police operation tackles county lines ‘hot spots’ in Worthing, Littlehampton and Haywards Heath

Police units have tackled county lines in Littlehampton, Worthing and Haywards Heath in a three-week operation.

Tuesday, 16th March 2021, 4:38 pm
Drugs were seized by officers. Photo: Sussex Police

Operation Voyage saw the West Sussex Community Investigations Team, supported by Response officers, the Tactical Enforcement Unit and Neighbourhood Response Teams, carry out robust proactive policing to disrupt drug dealers in the county.

County Lines is a term used by police and partner agencies to refer to drug networks - both gangs and organised crime groups - from large urban areas such as London, who use children and young people and vulnerable adults to carry out illegal activity on their behalf.

Over a three-week period officers targeted specific county lines in the areas of Littlehampton, Worthing and Haywards Heath following intelligence which highlighted ‘hot spots’ for drug activity.

The action included:

– The seizure of just under 250 wraps of class A drugs – crack cocaine and heroin.

– A quantity of cash was recovered.

– Four warrants were conducted at addresses in Warrrick Road in Worthing, Rocky Drive in Haywards Heath, North Lane in Littlehampton and York Road, Littlehampton.

– Vulnerable victims identified.

– A number of mobile phones were discovered and seized.

A total of nine people were arrested as part of the action:

– Elijah Gordon, 23, of Hopton Road Lambeth was arrested and later charged with possession with intent to supply crack cocaine. He will appear at Worthing Magistrates’ Court on 6 April.

– A 17-year-old boy from Wanstead, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was charged with two counts to supply class A drugs – crack cocaine and heroin.

– Russell Wilkins, 45, of no fixed address was convicted of possession of heroin. At Crawley Magistrates’ on 11 February he was given a £60 fine, a £34 victim surcharge and ordered to pay court costs of £85.

– A 47-year-old woman from Haywards Heath was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply crack cocaine. She has been released under investigation.

– A 19-year-old man from Romford was arrested on suspicion of possession of crack cocaine and the supply of crack cocaine. He was released under investigation.

– A 49-year-old man from East Preston was arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of class A drugs. He was released under investigation.

– A 42-year-old man from Worthing was arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of class A drugs. He has been released under investigation.

– A 19-year-old man from Broadwater was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply cannabis and the possession of cannabis. He was released under investigation.

– A 41-year-old of no fixed address was arrested on suspicion of obstructing police during a section 23 drug search. He has been released under investigation.

Detective Inspector Alan Pack of the West Sussex Community Investigation team said: “Drug issues have a huge impact on the community and we want to send out a strong message that we will not tolerate this type of behaviour.

“The recent proactive policing action we have been conducting has made the area e very hostile one for those involved with drugs and we want to ensure this message continues.

“Those involved in this criminality need to know that we are tackling this issue and you will be dealt with accordingly.

“Our officers investigate and prosecute, working relentlessly and targeting those who would bring harm to local people, including often the most vulnerable.

“Quite often, these drug dealers are targeting the homes of vulnerable people, a term we call cuckooing.

“Cuckooing means the criminals can operate from a property rather than on the street, making them less easy to identify, and often they move between different properties to cover their activity.

“We will continue to disrupt dealers who try to deal dangerous drugs across our communities.”