One year into the pilot project, County Lines Informed Cumbria (1CLIC) has made a big impact disrupting county lines drugs gangs which has seen up to a 50% reduction in consequential crime and demand in known drug ‘hotspot’ areas, in the south of the county.
County Lines Informed Cumbria (1CLIC) funded by Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall, is a two-year pilot programme aimed at targeting county lines in Barrow-in-Furness and South Lakes. County lines is a form of criminal activity in which organised crime gangs use young and/or vulnerable people to carry, store or sell drugs in towns and rural areas.
Since the 1CLIC pilot launched in February 2022, there were nine known county lines organised crime gangs operating in the south of the county. In under 12 months, these have been disrupted, with no active county lines, currently in operation.
1CLIC sees Cumbria Constabulary working in partnership with The Well Communities, a lived experience recovery organisation that supports those who are recovering from addiction. The project identifies vulnerable people who are most at risk of being approached by drug gangs, supports them to move away from potential criminal behaviour and make positive life decisions. 1CLIC encourages long lasting behavioural change and supports the recovery of those who are already using drugs
Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall, comments: “As a rural county, Cumbria is affected by county lines drugs supply imported from larger metropolitan areas. The 1CLIC programme is a fantastic pilot that cuts off the drugs path into south Cumbria.
“The programme is partnership and community lead, to help spot potential victims and provide them with support to create a better life before organised crime gangs get the chance to exploit them.
“Drugs can have a devastating effect on people’s lives, families, and whole communities.
I am urging the public that if you notice anything suspicious, to please report it to the Police on 101, or 999 in an emergency.”
1CLIC project manager, Detective sergeant Kevin Milby comments: “The 1CLIC partnership allows us to get help to the people most in need and show them that support is there and that we can divert them away from the life they are in.
“The vulnerability visits and the amount of time we spend in the community and in people’s houses, has allowed us to support so many people and change what the county lines landscape looks like in South Cumbria.”
Tom Sharp, 1CLIC project lead with lived experience of substance abuse said: “1CLIC has helped us to reach people who would previously been missed. This collaboration between Cumbria Police and the Well has proven its worth in gold by the sheer number of lives it has saved and changed for the better.
“The connections we have made through probation, food clubs and specialist support organisations, is helping us deliver a bespoke care model to every single person on our case load, no more ‘one size fits all’.”
One 1CLIC service user comments: “I’d be in prison or dead if it wasn’t for Tom and Kev from 1CLIC. Thank you so much. I’m really looking forward to a new life.”
Local support services in Cumbria:
The Well Communities
Call 01229 829832 Barrow-in-Furness
Recovery Steps Cumbria
Helpline 10900 512300 Carlisle, Barrow, Kendal 9-5pm
CADAS – Cumbria Addictions Advise and Solutions
Helpline 0800 254 5658 weekdays 11-5pm