Arrests in train stations where crimes against children are being prosecuted nationwide.

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In a joint operation with Devon and Cornwall Police and Avon and Somerset Police, Merseyside Police stopped and searched dozens of people at Liverpool train stations.

Police officers arrested a number of people in a major raid on County Lines drug gangs.

Dozens of people were searched in Liverpool as part of a joint operation to combat the grooming of drug gangs.

ECHO has previously reported how a 17-year-old boy from Liverpool was abducted hundreds of miles to Exeter to transport drugs.

The aim is to prepare young, often vulnerable people to transport drugs throughout the country.

The County Lines method, which is increasingly common in the UK, involves children being raised and manipulated by drug gangs to sell and transport substances for them.

A total of 75 people were searched, 19 were found in possession of an illegal substance, while six of them were arrested on suspicion of offences such as possession of Class A drugs, modern slavery and violation of a restraining order.

From the early hours of yesterday morning until late at night, officers patrolled on foot and in marked and unmarked cars to hunt down those involved in the transportation, trafficking and sale of drugs.

The officers were in various stations, including Liverpool Lime Street and along the Wirral Line between Hamilton Square and Chester.

Both men were arrested on suspicion of involvement in the supply of a controlled drug and possession with intent to supply, while the 18-year-old was additionally arrested on suspicion of modern slavery.

Patrols stopped two men aged 16 and 18 at Liverpool Lime Street Station where they were found in possession of a large amount of cash, telephones and suspected class A and B drugs.

Outside the stations the officers also cracked down hard on the people on the streets.

The man was stopped after he was seen in a suspected drug deal.

On London Road a 37-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply class A drugs.

Police said: “There were a number of wraps of brown and white powder seized nearby and a further search of a property in Blackburne Place also found a small quantity of white tablets and two transplant phones. He was taken into custody but has been released as part of the investigation.

“The activities of County Lines include the transportation of drugs and the exploitation of youth and vulnerable adults, exposing the general public to a greater risk of serious violence.

“This criminal lifestyle should not be glorified and can have serious consequences. Gang members exploit children and vulnerable adults to transport and supply drugs on their behalf. By working with our colleagues in Devon and Cornwall, Gloucestershire and Avon and Somerset, and with other police forces in the local area, we will continue to showcase our extensive efforts to protect the public and arrest offenders.

Katie Wilkinson, Inspector of Merseyside Police, said: “We invest a great deal of time and effort in working with police forces across the county. This enhances our ability to identify and locate offenders nationwide, whilst at the same time supporting vulnerable people who may have been involved in criminal gangs.

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