Rare court order granted to block county lines phone number
31 May 2019
A telephone number used by a suspected county lines gang which was used to tip off drug users about where to buy drugs in Grimsby has been blocked thanks to a court order.
The so-called ‘graft’ phone number was used by a gang believed to be in the Merseyside area.
It was used to direct users to locations in Grimsby where heroin and crack cocaine dealers could be found and where they could get drugs from.
As part of Operation Hamilton – the operation to disrupt county lines and organised crime groups – a Drug Dealing Telecommunications Restriction Order (DDTRO) has now been granted which switches off the number so it can’t be used again.
It’s the first time that such an order has been applied for by Humberside Police.
Detective Inspector Phil Booker said: “Basically, this number was used as almost a ‘call centre’. Drug users would contact it to make arrangements to buy drugs and be directed where to attend and at what time, to meet with the dealer.
“This was the main ‘graft’ line to a county lines gang member based in Merseyside who used the number to co-ordinate and facilitate the supply of heroin and crack cocaine in Grimsby.
“This DDTRO stops that phone number being used or reactivated.
“In the past when we have arrested a dealer and seized their phone, their number would usually be reactivated in another phone within hours. This order blocks a number which could be used again for drugs activity and other crimes.
“We’re not only disrupting the supply of drugs into our force area by doing this, we’re also disrupting the dealers drugs supply operation.
“Put simply if they can’t contact each other, they can’t deal drugs.”