A woman has been jailed for her role as a member of an Organised Crime Group (OCG) which trafficked Class A drugs between Merseyside and the South Lakes.

The investigation involved officers from Kendal and Lakes Neighbourhood Policing Team and detectives from the Community Serious and Organised Crime Unit working in close partnership to dismantle the ‘Scouse Tom’ OCG, after launching Operation Forfeit in January 2022.

Carol McClean, 56, of Glebe Road, Kendal, was jailed for three years and four months at Carlisle Crown Court.

Between August 2021 and January 2022 officers from Kendal and Lakes Neighbourhood Policing Team conducted a number of warrants and positive stop-searches against ‘Scouse Tom’ street dealers, recovering supply amounts of Class A drugs, cash, and key mobile phones.

In January 2022 intelligence work identified the common link between the street dealers and Operation Forfeit was launched to target the OCG, with NPT officers and Serious/Organised Crime detectives working in partnership to identify the upper tier of the OCG as well as continuing to disrupt the OCG’s operations at street level.

By March 2022 each member of the OCG had been identified and the investigation team were closing in on the OCG’s leadership and key facilitators - culminating in the arrest of a key member of the group.

Detectives were able to evidence that McClean provided supervision to the Kendal/Lakes street dealers, storing large amounts of drugs in her locker at her place of work and doling them out in small amounts to street dealers for onward supply, and who acted as ‘banker’ for drug money being passed from street dealers to the upper tier of the OCG.

Speaking after sentencing, Detective Inspector Jamie Eaton said: “Operation Forfeit was a significant operation which spanned many months.

“The aim was to disrupt and dismantle this Merseyside-based group trafficking Class A drugs into the Kendal and South Lakes area.

“We take a serious stance on county lines drugs criminals exploiting and targeting our communities and we will do everything in our power to put an end to these gangs operating in Cumbria.

“We are not complacent and recognise before too long another group will be foolish enough to try their hand. The support of our communities in reporting drug dealing is a key tool in tackling organised criminality and we encourage members of the public to get in touch with any information that might help us."

Anyone with information about drugs offences can call police on 101 or report online at cumbria.police.uk.

Alternatively, you can call the independent charity Crimestoppers, completely anonymously, on 0800 555 111.