EVERY resident on two entire streets in York were visited as part of a police crackdown on drug dealing.

The work was part of a national week of coordinated action to tackle 'county lines' drug dealing.

North Yorkshire Police arrested six people, carried out 53 welfare visits to cuckooing victims and safeguarded 16 adults throughout the week.

County lines is the name given to a form of organised crime in which drug dealers from urban areas exploit vulnerable people - including children - and force them to deal drugs in smaller towns and cities. It takes its name from the mobile phone lines used by dealers to communicate between towns and advertise their drugs for sale.

The Week of Intensification, coordinated by the National County Lines Coordination Centre (NCLCC), began on October 7 and involved all police forces across the country.

During the week, the residents of two entire streets in York were visited in partnership with the City of York Council due to ongoing issues relating to drug dealing and to check on the welfare of some of the residents.

In North Yorkshire, officers also targeted public transport providers to raise awareness of how to spot children who may have been exploited and are travelling to North Yorkshire to sell drugs.

North Yorkshire Police said young people who have been groomed and exploited by drug dealers often travel long distances in taxis or buses and use cash – often high amounts - to pay their fare.

Chief Inspector Emma Aldred of North Yorkshire Police, said: “Due to the exploitation of vulnerable people and the violence that’s often associated with it, disrupting county lines remains a major priority for North Yorkshire Police “The week of intensification is an opportunity to highlight how we are tackling this issue in North Yorkshire, but what we also want to make clear, is that our work is going on every day of every week.

“Due to the vulnerability of its victims, working with partners to provide wrap-around care and support is also important if we are to break the cycle of drug dependency, vulnerability and antisocial behaviour associated with county lines. My thanks go to all our partners who work with us every day to tackle this complex area of criminality and the social problems it brings with it.

“Information from the public is also vital and helps to shape operational activity, so my plea to members of the public is please continue to report information, no matter how insignificant you think it might be. Your information could be the crucial piece we need, or help to safeguard a vulnerable child or adult.”

Cuckooing refers to the practice of drug dealers taking over the home of a vulnerable person and use it at a base to sell and store drugs, often using violence and intimidation to achieve this. Cuckooing victims are often drug users themselves, or people who are vulnerable due to a mental or physical disability, their age or lifestyle, such as sex workers and single mothers.

Anyone with concerns about county lines can speak to local police on 101 or call 999 in an emergency, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

During 2018, North Yorkshire Police made 191 arrests in relation to county lines and between January 1 and September 30 this year, the force had made 99 arrests in relation to county lines.