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New unit launched to tackle ‘county lines’ crime

The Home Office has provided £3.6m funding to support the launch of the new National County Lines Coordination Centre as part of the serious violence strategy launched in April.

The centre adopts a multi-agency approach with a 38-strong team of experts from the National Crime Agency (NCA), police forces and regional organised crime units. Together the team will develop the national intelligence picture of the complexity and scale of the issue, prioritising the action to be taken against offenders, and engaging with partners across government, including health, welfare and education, to help tackle the wider issues.

The most recent assessment by the NCA indicates that there are over 1,000 lines in operation nationally with clear links to increasing levels of serious violence. Whilst there are already 200 active investigations underway the new unit will allow the police to intensify their activity.