'Seventy to eighty per cent' fewer county lines incidents in Corby than in Kettering and Wellingborough

Police say the town is successfully 'staving off' the threat of county lines

By Kate Cronin
Friday, 11th December 2020, 7:00 am
County lines drug dealers have managed to gain a foothold in other towns more successfully than in Corby. Picture posed by models.
County lines drug dealers have managed to gain a foothold in other towns more successfully than in Corby. Picture posed by models.

A leading borough police officer says that Corby is successfully holding back the tide of county lines drug dealers that have gained a foothold in neighbouring towns.

Neighbourhood Policing Sergeant Rachel Grey told members of Corby Council's Crime and Disorder Committee meeting that the town's police officers had been able to get to grips with the issue in the town.

Court appearances of out-of-town dealers peddling their drugs in Wellingborough, Northampton and Kettering have increased this year, but no such rise has happened in Corby.

County lines are run by dealers from large towns and cities that recruit people, often teens, from smaller towns to sell their drugs for them, impressing them with gifts of watches, clothes, trainers, cars and money.

At Tuesday's (December 8) virtual meeting, committee member Cllr Kevin Watt asked Sergeant Grey whether the recent death of a suspected local drug dealer had made a difference to who was running the town's drugs trade. He said: "With the recent demise of a local drug villain, has there been any worry about the possibility of county lines taking a foothold in Corby?

Sgt Grey said: "I can honestly say that we are fortunate in Corby compared to other surrounding towns.

"We have got a good grip on county lines.

"There's a little bit of it creeping in and we have managed to make some arrests around it.

"I think we have managed to stave some of it off.

"When you compare us to to Kettering and Wellingborough there are probably seventy to eighty per cent less issues with it."

Sgt Grey said that the presence of a police base at the Corby Cube had helped officers make inroads into crime across the board.

"Having PCSOs back out on foot has made a huge difference," she said.

"When the Corby police station shut we all felt it. Coming back to the Cube was a great thing and we're starting to get a grip back on Corby and the public are seeing a difference."

- Sgt Grey also revealed that Northamptonshire Police are hoping to double the neighbourhood teams in the first six months of next year. The successful teams were first rolled-out in the town in the mid 2000s when PCSOs were first introduced by the then Home Secretary David Blunkett. They played a key role in reducing crime and anti-social behaviour on the town's notorious Lincoln Estate.