FOUR arrests have been made in mid Cheshire as part of a week-long crackdown on drug dealing.

Cheshire Police has run a week of action to target ‘county lines’ – where drugs are transported by organised crime gangs from urban areas to more rural locations, often using vulnerable people.

It led to two men from Northwich – a 32-year-old and a 38-year-old – being arrested in town on suspicion of possession with intent to supply Class A drugs.

A further two men from Middlewich – a 45-year-old and a 61-year-old – were also arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply Class A drugs.

All four men have been released under investigation.

In total, officers across Cheshire arrested 14 men and five women on suspicion of drug offences and executed a number of warrants which resulted in heroin and cocaine being seized.

Twelve people who were identified as victims of ‘cuckooing’ – where gangs take over a vulnerable person’s home to use as a drug den – were visited by police and provided with specialist support.

Officers also engaged with 24 vulnerable adults and children who could have been exploited by organised crime gangs – while police in mid Cheshire engaged with children at Hartford, Greenbank and Winsford train stations.

Det Insp Eli Atkinson said: “Targeting those suspected of being involved in serious and organised crime, specifically county lines, is something we do relentlessly on a regular basis.

“The week of action enabled officers to go that extra mile by informing the public of what we’re doing and how they too can look out for signs of children and adults who are vulnerable to organised criminals and report it.

“Throughout the week we carried out a range of activity including disrupting gangs by making arrests and seizing drugs but we also had a big focus on identifying and engaging with people whose homes are being taken over by drug dealers.

“It is these victims who are at the centre of county lines and can often be forgotten which is why we give talks in schools, speak to residents in our community and visit businesses to raise awareness.”

To learn how to spot the signs of drug activity taking place in your community, or children and vulnerable adults being exploited by organised crime groups, see the Cheshire Police website.

Report serious and organised crime by calling Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or Cheshire Police on 101.