POLICE arrested three men as part of a national crackdown on county lines drug dealing gangs.

Officers from Sussex Police, led by Sergeant Richard Penrose, carried out a warrant in Donald Hall Road, Brighton, on Wednesday last week.

Three men were arrested for drug offences before being interviewed and released on bail while enquiries continue.

At a linked, simultaneous warrant in the city, a further two men were arrested.

They were later interviewed and released under investigation while enquires continue.

The warrant was carried out as part of national county lines intensification week, during which police across the country stepped up activity against drug dealing gangs.

The gangs are urban drug dealers who sell to customers in more rural areas via dedicated phone lines - "county lines".

They are notorious for exploiting children to work as couriers and forcing vulnerable people to let them use their homes to conceal or deal drugs, as portrayed in BBC drama Line Of Duty.

Forces across the UK boosted activity in the week from October 11 to 17 with 25 arrests made in Sussex.

Sgt Penrose said: “These investigations are often very long and drawn out as a result of other intelligence that we’ve gathered over months.

“These warrants we have executed are part of a longer-term investigation, but it’s only today we have been able to put all the pieces of the jigsaw together in order to go through the door and arrest these people.

“We do warrants that aren’t particularly fruitful but obviously lots of it depends on the quality of the intelligence that we have, but this was very successful.”

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