‘Dealer’ hid drugs under four-day-old son to try and get past police

News

A man suspected of using his four-day-old son as a decoy to sneak drugs past police was arrested as part of an operation tackling so-called ‘county lines’ networks.

British Transport Police officers stopped the 27-year-old as he pushed the newborn through Liverpool Lime Street Station on May 12.

They found a stash of cannabis hidden in the pushchair’s undercarriage.

The man, from Wigan, was arrested on suspicion of carrying a Class B drug with intent to supply and later released under investigation and the force said the baby was taken into the care of social services.

The arrest was part of the BTP’s County Lines Taskforce’s latest operation in the Merseyside area, with support from Merseyside Police. The railway network is used extensively by gangs moving drugs and cash.

Set up with Home Office funding in December last year, the taskforce has carried out 276 arrests and charged 55 in its first four months.

More than £60,000 in drugs and £108,000 cash has been seized, while weapons including a ninja star and a revolver with ammunition have been recovered.

Detective Superintendent Gareth Williams said: ‘Since December, we’ve been carrying out operations on a daily basis, always based on developing intelligence that shows where gangs are operating.

‘We get part of our information through working in partnership with other law enforcement agencies, but also importantly through the support of the rail industry who train their staff to spot signs of exploitation.

‘Key indicators include a young child travelling long distances, alone with a large amount of cash, or avoiding any sort of authority at stations.

‘These indicators are small but invaluable and help inform where we target next.’