POLICE have arrested more than 100 people and seized large quantities of cash and drugs in a week long crackdown aimed at targeting 'county lines' dealers. 

Across the area covered by Thames Valley Police, 27 homes were raided and 156 stop and searches were carried out last week.

Officers found 2,800 wraps of cocaine, heroin and cannabis, £133,000 in cash and a number of weapons including machetes and flick knives. 

Oxford Mail:

Some 112 vulnerable adults and children were also protected from 'cuckooing', the process whereby dealers take over other people's homes to sell drugs. 

Detective Chief Superintendent Richard List, said: “This has been a hugely successful week for Thames Valley Police working with the National Crime Agency to tackle county lines drug dealing.

Oxford Mail:

“Thames Valley Police sees tackling OCGs and county lines as an absolute priority and through our Stronghold campaign we are determined to continue to work closely with our partners including local authorities, schools, health professionals and charities, to safeguard children and vulnerable adults."

READ AGAIN: Taskforce aims to kick drugs out of the city

County lines drug dealing occurs when organised criminal groups (OCGs) use phone lines to move and supply drugs, usually from cities into smaller towns and rural areas.

It often involves the exploitation of children and vulnerable adults who may have mental health or addiction problems and are forced to supply and run drugs by violence and intimidation.

Last week's operation also saw police officers go into schools to give young people and teachers the information they need to spot the signs that someone is being groomed by organised crime groups. 

Oxford Mail:

DCS List added: “I see the fact that we have safeguarded a number of adults and children from being exploited through violence, fear and intimidation by drug dealers this week as a real success.

“However this intensification week is just a continuation of the work Thames Valley Police officers and our partners have been carrying out over the last few years.

READ AGAIN: Police raid house in Blackbird Leys and find drugs

“We will continue to act every single day to stop those who seek to damage our communities through this extremely harmful criminal activity."