THE Police and Crime Commissioner for North Wales has issued a stark warning to anyone thinking about participating in organised crime or county lines drug trafficking.

Since the beginning of September, members of two large scale county lines operations have been jailed for their part in supplying class A substances to communities in Flintshire and other parts of North Wales.

Operation Tide saw 18 defendants connected with the "Echo Line" drugs gang sentenced over three days in September - with their jail terms reaching almost 150 years collectively.

Then in October six men received custodial sentences for participating in a similar drugs based criminal enterprise, following a police initiative called Operation Blue Elixir.

Arfon Jones, North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner, said: "County lines gangs recruit vulnerable children and young people in the big cities to come into North Wales.

"But their models are also now changing, because they are also recruiting local young people and children.

"Officers had a very successful time tacking this during lockdown because there were far fewer cars on the road and it was a lot easier to target and check out people. "It doesn't matter what differences there are - they will find a way to adapt their model.

"But we are very good at understanding what is going on in North Wales.

"We are very successful at addressing organised crime in conjunction with Merseyside Police and the Regional Organised Crime Unit."

Mr Jones is a former police Inspector and served in North Wales Police for 30 years.

He said: "One thing I wanted to do when I got this job was to increase the capacity of North Wales Police to fight serious and organised crime. "I think we have been successful in doing that."

On his message to anyone involved in such offences, he said: "It is a hazard to come to North Wales, because you will get caught. "If you come here to commit crime in North Wales, you will be targeted and arrested."