FOLLOWING a week of action to tackle county lines drug dealing, a total of four people have been arrested in Runcorn and Widnes.

Operation Expel saw officers across the county step up to bring county lines drug dealers to justice and protect vulnerable people from being exploited.

In Runcorn, quantities of heroin and crack cocaine were seized during a raid at an address in Gorran Haven, Brookvale, and two people – a 48-year-old woman from Runcorn and a 23-year-old man from Liverpool – were arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of the class A drugs.

Meanwhile, a 27-year-old man from Widnes was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply cocaine and cannabis following a stop-and-search on Kendal Road in the town.

A 40-year-old man from Widnes was also arrested in the Kendal Road area on suspicion of possession with intent to supply heroin and crack cocaine.

They have all been released under investigation pending further enquires.

A three-month closure order was imposed on a house in Bower Street in Widnes, in response to persistent anti-social behaviour and reports of drug dealing and violence at the address.

Detective Inspector Eleanor Atkinson, who oversaw the operation at Cheshire Constabulary, said: "County lines drug dealing involves organised crime groups based in major cities or urban areas extending their criminal enterprises into more rural locations.

"They often recruit and coerce children and vulnerable adults to sell illegal drugs for them.

"The actions of these organised crime groups and the drugs that they supply causes untold damage to the direct victims, as well as to the wider communities who suffer from the resulting crime.

"The week of action, which saw numerous warrants executed, class A drugs seized, several people arrested and vulnerable children and adults safeguarded, was part of our ongoing commitment to tackling county lines drug dealing in Cheshire head on, utilising all the resources at our disposal."

Other arrests across Cheshire included a 47-year-old man from Crewe, a 36-year-old woman from Crewe and a 35-year-old woman from Nantwich, who were all arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply a class A drug.

They have been released under investigation pending further enquires.

A 17-year-old boy from Shelton, Stoke-on-Trent, was also arrested in Hanley and was charged with being concerned in the supply of heroin, possession of criminal property and possession of class B drug cannabis

DI Atkinson added: "The majority of the work during the week of action was done in Halton - Runcorn and Widnes.

"The Halton Complex Team visited several young people who are believed to be involved in county lines drug operations, or heading that way.

"The team spoke to them and their parents about the dangers involved and detailed the help and support that is available.

“The Runcorn and Widnes LPUs worked with housing associations and a drugs and alcohol support agency to give vulnerable people help, support and advice.

"Joint visits were conducted at the homes of people who have been identified as being at risk of cuckooing, to educate and safeguard them.

"In Runcorn, as well as visiting taxi companies, officers drafted letters and leaflets to local leasing companies to make them aware of the indicators of county lines drug dealing and cuckooing.

"In Widnes, a survey was conducted at a housing estate to better understand community issues and develop intel, and a fireproof letterbox was fitted at an address due to safety concerns.”

For details of how to spot the signs of county lines drug dealing and cuckooing, visit

Any information regarding drug dealing in your community, no matter how small, should be reported to Cheshire Constabulary on 101, or via

Alternatively, you can contact independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.