THE drugs supply across North Wales has hit the region ‘like a tidal wave’, a councillor has said.

At their monthly meeting, Shotton town councillors received an update on how North Wales Police is tackling the County Lines issue.

County Lines is the supply of drugs from criminal gangs in cities such as Liverpool and Manchester, to rural areas like North Wales.

Cllr Sean Bibby said: “I think I’m at the point now where virtually every day I’m being contacted by somebody who is witnessing some sort of drug deal activity.

“For the people having to witness this and see it on a day to day basis, it’s very distressing and very concerning.

“It’s hit North Wales like a tidal wave, and I think we’re a relatively rural area who’s having to deal with organised crime like a city.”

Inspector Gareth Cust, of the North Flintshire policing team, told members that his officers were actively pursuing the issue.

He added: “For me this is a major issue in Deeside, it probably does inadvertently lead into most of the issues that you see like cycling on pavements, there will be drug dealing going on, on bikes.

“Acquisitive crime like shoplifting in shops, that will be motivated by people who need to shoplift to sell the items to buy drugs. And some of the anti-social behaviour issues around by train station, it all links to county lines.”

Inspector Cust told members the force had carried out different operations and joined forces with Merseyside police as well British Transport Police.

He said: “The idea of the operation is to bring Merseyside police officers here. If you’re from Merseyside, you’ll think you’re not known and suddenly you bump into Merseyside officer.”

Stop and searches have also been carried out and will be continued in the future.

Inspector Cust also told members of an operation that has been launched which includes the search of open areas for discarded weapons.

Councillors heard how a plan has been put in place for the Rock, in Connah’s Quay, and through to Shotton and it is hoped that funding will allow the vegetation to be cut back to make the area ‘less accessible’.

The inspector added: “A lot of work is ongoing with County Lines, in the next couple of weeks there will be a lot of police activity.

“For me, it does go into a lot of problems in Shotton. If you’ve got friends or relatives or yourselves who work in shops, you’ll know about the thefts.

“We know we get children being criminally exploited. People are being cuckooed.”

Members also heard that there has been a spate of burglaries and theft from vehicles, which could be linked to County Lines.

Two vehicles were recently recovered, containing stolen tools, which have been given back to the owners.

The Inspector is urging people to remain vigilant as acquisitive crime will coincide with County Lines.