A week of intensified operations to tackle cross-county drug dealing has yielded major results in Hampshire.

Police have dismantled and disrupted 15 county lines groups in a clampdown on the drug-related harm and violence wrought by criminal gangs.

The figures are eye-opening as more than £51,000 in cash and drugs with a street value of £106,000 were seized. Some 87 people were arrested, 13 drug warrants were executed, 159 mobile phones were seized and more than 200 people were stopped and searched.

County Lines groups are gangs who target vulnerable people in distant areas to run drugs for them. They were considered a low-risk and high-reward enterprise for organised criminals but officers are getting savvier.

“This intense week of operational and partnership activity has been incredibly successful in disrupting and shutting down county line networks running in our towns and cities,” said Chief Inspector Marcus Kennedy, Tactical County Lines lead for the constabulary.

“We’ve been relentless in the co-ordination of our policing activity, targeting these vile criminals who bring misery and violence to our communities.

“County lines exploit children and vulnerable people and safeguarding has been at the heart of our response, with 58 vulnerable people including two children aged under 18, being referred to support services.”