A 13-year-old boy has been arrested on suspicion of possession of a knife as part of an operation to target county lines criminals.

Those using the rail network to transfer drugs into Warrington were targeted by police during the operation on Tuesday.

Plain clothed and uniformed officers from Warrington were deployed to Warrington Central, Warrington Bank Quay, bus interchanges and the town centre to disrupt drugs and cash coming in from Merseyside.

A 16-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of possession of cannabis and obstructing police.

He has since been charged, bailed and is due to appear at Warrington Magistrates' Court on Wednesday, February 19.

A 13-year-old boy and an 18-year-old man were arrested on suspicion of being in possession of a knife.

The 18-year-old man has since been charged, bailed and will appear at Warrington Magistrates Court on Friday, February 14.

The 13-year-old has been released on conditional bail until February 28.

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Officers were deployed to Bank Quay

Detective inspector Chris Maddocks, of Warrington Local Policing Unit, said: "We know organised crime gangs from Merseyside target Warrington as part of their criminal enterprise to supply drugs in order to make a substantial profit.

"They travel into Warrington with drugs ready to be handed to street dealers and sold to users in the town.

"The criminals will often have an address in Warrington used as a drugs hub and manipulate vulnerable adults, disabled people or children to do their dirty drugs work.

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"This operation was an example of the work we do to disrupt this activity by being one step ahead of the criminals and preventing the drugs from coming into our community while also protecting those who are callously used by these gangs."

The operation was part of a Merseyside-led initiative called Project Medusa which assistant chief constable, Matt Burton, said highlights how hard-hitting and powerful police can be when working together.

He added: "We know criminals often use the rail network to travel into Cheshire from Merseyside in order to deal drugs in our communities and make a profit.

"This operation was our opportunity to show we are one step ahead and ready to prevent them from doing so.

"We must not forget that these organised crime gangs can prey on vulnerable adults and exploit, coerce and manipulate children to deliver and deal drugs on their behalf.

"We will not allow that to happen in our communities and we will continue to work hard to protect vulnerable adults and children and ensure Cheshire is a safe place."

For information on how to spot the signs of county lines drug dealing visit www.cheshire.police.uk/police-forces/cheshire-constabulary/areas/cheshire/campaigns/campaigns/2019/impact/.

If you have information regarding drug dealing in your community call Cheshire Police on 101, give details online at www.cheshire.police.uk or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.