Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson has welcomed Home Secretary Sajid Javid’s backing of Wiltshire Police’s work tackling drug gangs.

The Home Secretary visited Gablecross Police Station today (08/02) to meet the Chief Constable Kier Pritchard, Mr Macpherson and officers and staff from the teams who carry out the work around County Lines.

Sajid Javid complimented the Force for its work around what is a nationwide issue affecting every police force.

Angus said: “The Home Secretary’s visit today is a boost to the dedicated staff and officers involved in the whole, complex issue of County Lines.  For a small force it shows we are recognised on a national scale – alongside the bigger forces – and that we are punching above our weight on many major issues including County Lines.

“The visit of Mr Javid also cements the on-going work the police and I are doing with Swindon Borough Council, Wiltshire Council and our other partners which is one of the crucial elements helping to tackle this problem.”

Kier said: “Mr Javid was interested in our work around County Lines and was very complimentary about the hard work my staff and officers from the Crime Prevention Team, Dedicated Crime Team and Community Policing Teams carry out to reduce the harm caused by the large city drug gangs who operate in Wiltshire and exploit vulnerable people.

“We had a frank conversation about what support and opportunities the government can provide Wiltshire Police as well as discussing our partnership working which ensures that everyone who helps tackle County Lines, in the wider sense, is on board.

“With that in mind, it was also good for the Home Secretary to meet some of our Early Intervention staff who do invaluable work with children to protect them early on from being exploited and falling into crime; this also helps improve our safeguarding work with partners.

“Today is not only testament to my teams for their hard work but a good reminder that what we do is helped and supported by our partners who we work closely with around County Lines.

“The visit of a top governmental minister is extremely helpful in reminding the people of Swindon and Wiltshire that we are taking the issue of County Lines’ drug gangs seriously and that we are doing everything we can to stop them.”

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