North Yorkshire Police have seized two machetes, three samurai swords, two knuckledusters and a pistol in a drugs crackdown.
The force took part a national week of action between Monday 9 and Sunday 15 October to target county lines drug dealing.
It has seen 26 arrests and the seizure of £70,000 in cash, suspected drugs, weapons and mobile phones.
In York, officers executed a warrant at an address in York city centre and recovered a quantity of what is suspected to be a class-C drug and a Samurai sword.
A 55-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply a class-C drugs, and possession of an offensive weapon.
He was released without charge in relation to the weapon, but remains under investigation for drug offences.
In a separate operation, officers entered a York hotel and arrested two men in their 20s on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of a class-A drug.
One of the men, aged 22, was charged with six offences relating to the possession and supply of cocaine and heroin. He appeared at York Magistrates’ Court on 7 October and was sent for trial at a later date.
The other man was released on conditional bail.
Officers were on routine patrol on Rawdon Avenue in York when they suspected that two men were involved in the supply of drugs.
Two 20-year-old men were arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of a Class-A drug. Both were interviewed and released on conditional bail.
Police in York executed four warrants following information received that the occupants were working together on drug supply.
Officers seized cash, drugs paraphernalia and phones.
A 22-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply a Class-B drug. A second man, also 22-years-old was arrested for possession of an offensive weapon, possession of a Class-B drug, being concerned in the supply of a class-B drugs. He was also released on bail.
Protect the young and vulnerable
Detective Chief Inspector Andrew Simpson, who led the week of activity for North Yorkshire Police, said: “Last week’s targeted activity demonstrates how we are working tirelessly to disrupt the supply of illegal drugs and protect the young and vulnerable in our communities who are exploited by them.
“It’s important to stress that this is just one week’s activity, and this type of disruption and safeguarding is taking place in communities across North Yorkshire all year round.
“As a force we are committed to cutting these County Lines and to protecting vulnerable people. But we cannot do this alone, our work with partners is important and we also need the support of the public.
“It’s vital that everyone who cares for or knows young and vulnerable people understands the issue and knows the warning signs.”
Yorkshire author Christina Gabbitas was commissioned by police to write a sequel story ‘Trapped in County Lines’.
She took part in talks alongside neighbourhood policing officers in several schools across the county.
“The story aims to educate children and young people on the dangers of becoming involved with county lines through the power of storytelling,” she said.
“Children and young people can sadly be victims of exploitation from organised crime groups. County Lines is a harsh reality of life, and in my opinion shouldn’t be sugar coated.”
County lines takes its name from the mobile phone lines used by dealers to communicate between towns and advertise drugs for sale. Vulnerable people – including children – are forced to deal drugs and they will often use local properties as a base for their activities; this is often acquired by force and referred to as ‘cuckooing’.
As part of the week of action, proactive safeguarding and welfare checks were conducted at hotels and bed and breakfasts where known vulnerable persons are living. In total officers safeguarded 73 people who are known or suspected as being vulnerable to county lines exploitation.