THIRTY THREE people were arrested and Class A drugs were seized in West Yorkshire as part of a crackdown on County Lines crime.

Officers from across West Yorkshire Police took part in a week of action – part of a national campaign - to combat the crime which sees groups or gangs using children or vulnerable adults to carry and sell drugs from one area to another.

Thirty two men and one woman were arrested, crack and MDMA were seized, nearly £18,000 confiscated and a number of potential weapons including air powered pistols, a starting pistol samurai swords, a machete and other knives.

Officers spoke to four children and three adults potentially at risk of being used in county lines crime, identified a further six potentially vulnerable adults and made four referrals to the National Referral Mechanism.

They also visited seven addresses where it was thought ‘cuckooing’- where drug dealers take over the home of a vulnerable person to use it as a base - was taking place.

Jess Clayton, West Yorkshire Police's drugs co-ordinator, said: "As a Force we have carried out a great deal of enforcement activity and enforcement work to safeguard vulnerable people.

"We have also carried out a lot of education activity, delivering 75 inputs reaching approximately 11,700 people, handed out leaflets outlining the key aspects of county lines crime in 65 areas and had an ad-van out covering every single district in West Yorkshire.

"This shows just how seriously we treat the issue.

"We have also released a checklist of signs for parents or carers of vulnerable people to look out for to help prevent county lines crime from happening."

The key questions police are urging parents and carers to ask are:

Does your child have items of clothing, have mobile phones and/or money that they cannot explain how they came by?

Are they going missing and being found in locations far from home?

Are they making friends with older individuals and calling them by a nickname?

Are they pushing away from their peers and changing interests?

Has there been a change in behaviour – for example saying “others have their back” and are they being secretive?

Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), said:

"One of the priorities in my police and crime plan is tackling major threats and serious violence which includes organised crime, serious violence and the use of weapons such as knives and guns.

“These are often elements of county lines style criminal activity and we must all work to protect, educate and divert particularly young people away from being caught up in these crime types."