Original article from Kent Live
An alarming documentary aired on BBC One has exposed the problems surrounding County Lines drug dealing in Kent.
Panorama followed Kent Police for a year as they tackled County Lines between London and north Kent.
Operations in Medway, Rochester, Dartford and Maidstone were all covered on the programme which aired last night (May 11)
One officer within the force claimed that drug users referred to Chatham as ‘heroin town’
Signing up to the KentLive newsletter means you'll get the latest news direct to your inbox twice a day.
It couldn't be simpler and it takes seconds – simply press here, enter your email address and follow the instructions. You can also enter your email address in the box below the picture on most desktop and mobile platforms.
You can also sign up to our website and comment on our stories by pressing here and signing in.
Mike Williams, a disruption officer on the force exposed the sad reality of County Lines drug dealers in the Medway town.
Mike said: ‘We go to Chatham..the drug users know it as brown town. Brown is another word for heroin – anywhere where this shop or a shopping centre attracts people that are using drugs.”
He added: ‘They will go to town centres, shoplift, sell their items and buy their drugs.”
The BBC started filming with Kent Police before the coronavirus pandemic when the number of county lines in Kent was thought to be 65.
The narration at the end of the programme claims that number has been reduced by a third, to 46, with plans in place to continue the expansion of the force.
One of the segments of the eye-opening documentary covers an operation code named ‘Operation Zeal’
The operation, which involved 150 officers from Kent Police, Met Police and The British Transport Police, saw raids carried out across the county.
40 warrants were issued for the operation with cameras following one particular raid in Dartford. In total – 18 people were arrested.
Kent Police say they have made 300 arrests in the last year but to quote one officer the
PC Rob Barker said: "This is not a war because a war ends. This is a constant battle…if you take him someone else will step in. That is the game."
You can watch the programme, which aired at 19:30 on BBC 1 on Monday, here.