THE Home Secretary joined a police raid targeting a gang selling drugs in Sussex.

Priti Patel joined officers from the Metropolitan Police and Sussex Police today as they searched a property. It was in connection with so-called “county lines” drug deals where gangs use phone lines to sell from London into Sussex.

The joint operation saw police swoop on an address in Brighton Terrace, Brixton.

Ms Patel said: “I have made rolling up county lines drugs gangs an absolute priority. We have provided police with £25 million to tackle this exploitative trade and I have today seen first-hand the impact of that investment. The police will continue having my full support in the fight to keep the public safe.”

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The Met have worked with forces in the counties surrounding London and say investigations are now taking weeks rather than months to complete as part of Operation Orochi.

The Argus:

Detective Chief Inspector Ant Jones from the Met said: “Every single day our officers are working hand in glove with colleagues from other police forces to arrest those involved in running county lines routes from the capital into the counties.

"Through this approach we are able to disrupt and dismantle these lines from the centre and protect the vulnerable children and adults who are often coerced into running substances across the UK on behalf of these networks.

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“This collaborative approach has enabled us to target and arrest county lines criminals more than ever before. This activity will increase and intensify in the coming weeks.”

The Argus:

Sussex Police Detective Chief Inspector Will Rolls said: “This is another example of the way we and other forces are working together with the Met and in our own communities, to target and disrupt dealers.

“We work relentlessly to target, investigate, arrest and prosecute drug dealers who cause harm in our local communities and exploit children and vulnerable adults.”

The forces confirmed a 20-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of supplying the class A drugs crack cocaine and heroin. A search at the address was ongoing, but officers have recovered the phone believed to be used to control the drugs line.

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