“We’ve already rolled up about 1,500 county lines gangs”

Boris Johnson, Sky News

December 5, 2021

Facts

The Prime Minister said the government was “ramping up” its campaign against “the county lines networks that are preying on [drug] users.”

Johnson said he had shut down 1,500 County Lines gangs (groups which move illegal drugs from one part of the country into other areas using dedicated mobile phone lines or “deal lines.”)

Johnson’s figure actually refers to the number of individual “deal lines” - individual phone numbers used by gangs - that have been shut down. This is not the same as shutting down an entire gang. 

An analysis by Channel 4 FactCheck stated that “Boris Johnson said: “We’ve already rolled up about 1,500 county lines gangs.” But this is incorrect. The 1,500 figure refers to the number of individual phone numbers used by gangs that have been shut down – not the number of gangs.

Verdict

Johnson’s claim was misleading.

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