Oral Answers to Questions Debate

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Department: Ministry of Justice

Oral Answers to Questions

Giles Watling Excerpts
Tuesday 14th September 2021

(1 month, 1 week ago)

Commons Chamber

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Ministry of Justice
Robert Buckland Portrait Robert Buckland
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I am always keen, as the hon. Gentleman knows, to make sure that the law in England and Wales is consistent. I will, of course, look carefully at that particular issue. The report is welcome as we particularly looked at a read-across to scrap metal and the way in which we banned cash payments there. The evidence is emerging, and we are gathering it as quickly as possible. We will do everything we can, consistent with an appropriate approach, to deal with this type of illegitimate trade in defenceless animals.

Giles Watling Portrait Giles Watling (Clacton) (Con)
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T6. Last weekend a young man sadly lost his life in my constituency, and a county lines drug operation was peripherally involved. What are the Government doing to bring a stop to these county lines drug operations, which are ruining constituencies such as mine? (903435)

Kit Malthouse Portrait The Minister for Crime and Policing (Kit Malthouse)
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I am extremely sorry to hear about the event in my hon. Friend’s constituency, and I am pleased that he has raised it on the Floor of the House. He will know that, for the last two years, we have made dismantling the county lines business model a key priority of our work between the Home Office and the Ministry of Justice. He will be pleased to know that, following significant investment in the key exporting forces of London, the west midlands and Liverpool—Merseyside police—we have made significant progress. We reckon that we have managed to dismantle about a third of the county lines, but there is still significant work to do. He will be pleased to know that some counties, such as Essex and Norfolk, are showing significant success, but there is still a lot more to do to overcome this pernicious and particularly unpleasant business model that focuses on exploiting young and vulnerable people as part of its way of making money. I assure him that we will not stint over the coming years in trying to eradicate county lines from our country.