NEARLY £90,000 in cash was seized by police during a week-long campaign against county lines drug dealing.

Thames Valley Police's (TVP) Stronghold campaign saw officers safeguard 80 vulnerable people, including 16 children, as part of the operation.

County lines is the term given to organised crime groups bringing drugs from cities into smaller towns and rural areas.

Between May 13-19, TVP carried out school visits, executed warrants and seized weapons in order to investigate drug dealers.

Detective chief superintendent Richard List said: “Partnership working is vital for tackling county lines drug dealing.

“We have been working with local authorities, charities and schools throughout the past week in order to safeguard vulnerable people, educate adults and children on the dangers of drugs exploitation and using a variety of methods to arrest and investigate those dealing drugs and bringing misery on our communities.

“County lines is an everyday focus for TVP, but this week of action has been a great success and shows the dedication or our officers and partners to tackle this unacceptable and harmful activity."

During the campaign, nearly 150 visits were made to previous victims of cuckooing, which is when drug dealers take over a vulnerable person's home and use it as a base.

It was not only children who were given a lesson in welfare and safeguarding, as police also made a series of educational visits to hotels, taxi firms and landlords.

Det ch supt List added: “We would encourage the public to help us in the fight against serious and organised criminals by reporting any drug dealing of which they are aware. This will help us to build up intelligence and investigate those who see fit to deal drugs.

“Additionally we are asking communities to be aware of their neighbours, friends and young people they know for the signs them being exploited by drug dealers.

“If you think someone shows sign of mistreatment, or a child seems to be travelling long distances or is unfamiliar with the area they are in, then you can report your suspicions to Thames Valley Police on 101 or via our website.”