• County Lines


Depending on the type of door you have, it's the early hours of the morning and you're jolted awake by one of two sounds...

  1. "SMASH" followed by shattering glass, then "BANG BANG BANG BANG"; so loud it sounds similar to a bomb going off.

  2. "WEEEEE STUTTER STUTTER STUTTER" as the sound of a chainsaw comes to life, then "NNNRRRRRRRRRRRRR" (imagine the sound of a chainsaw and increase it by ten).

The deafening noise combined with the barely lucid, disorientation when you've been suddenly woken up. causes absolutely terrifying, blinding panic. You have no idea what is going on- which is bad enough. When the realisation dawns that your front door is being broken down with a battering ram or sliced in half with a chainsaw- things begin to get much worse.

Before you can comprehend what might follow, angry, aggressive shouts from 8 or 10 police officers yell;


You try positioning your hands in the air in front of you whilst not moving...

As a result of this, you invariably end up with a red faced officer fuelled by rage, screaming into your ear;


As a result of being in such a state of confused panic, it's human nature to react instinctively in this type of situation. It's that 'Fight or Flight' part of the brain which provokes how an individual reacts.

I myself, haven't reacted well under the same circumstances in the past. For example,

  • I once threw a right hook at the officer standing next to me, almost breaking his jaw. I then proceeded to lob a tray of hot lasagna at a custody sergeant in the cells some 6 hours later.

  • On another occasion, before the drug squad had even finished shouting "...hands where we can see them"- I'd flung my arms above my head and was screeching like a banshee. It went something like this..."I'm GUILTY, I'M GUILTY, I have a SPEEDING TICKET FINE which I've NOT PAID YET. SHIT. Oh my gosh I can't believe I just swore at the police. Oh FUCK. You're going to put me in prison aaaren't yy-y-yooou".

  • On a scale of 1-10, my worst reaction was freezing on the spot. I was so tensed up I had to be carried to the police fan like a frigid surfboard. I was being booked into custody and fainted. Got taken to hospital. Returned to be booked into custody again, fainted again, got taken to the hospital again. On round three I projectile vomited all over my cell and the police eventually gave up releasing me on the grounds of being medically unfit. There was nothing medically wrong; the freezing, fainting and vomiting were simply from shock and anxiety.

The drug squad stampede into your home dressed in full riot gear- stab vests, tactical helmets, gloves, goggles, holding huge plastic shields. Different police forces have different names for their drug squads. The Hurricane squad, the Tornado squad, the Impact team etc etc...

Their first priority is to do a sweep of the property, and fast. This is to prevent anyone inside escaping, or having time to dispose of, or conceal any illegal substances or drug paraphernalia.

The officers round up everyone they find in the house to the living room. It doesn't matter whether you're dressed, half dressed, naked...whatever state you are in, you're grouped together and each person is handcuffed.

I was once hauled straight out of the bath which was humiliating enough. The drug squad was made up of 7 males to 2 females on that occasion. So I was MORTIFIED when I was made to stand totally naked, still dripping wet, in handcuffs, while the officers did a sweep of my home.

It was over ten minutes later when a towel was thrown at me by a male officer, accompanied with a sarcastic remark "cover yourself up woman, the sight of your chubby arse is putting me off my dinner".

My cheeks burned with shame and I burst into tears.

The police then search your home. They execute a search warrant which they apply for through the courts to give them the power to do this. During the search, they are permitted to dismantle furniture, take apart electrical goods, basically scour every nook and cranny of not just your home, but everything in it too.

Unfortunately, it's 50/50 as to what state your home is left in. It depends on the size of the power trip each officer is on, whether they got out of the wrong side of bed that day, if they have a grudge against you or dislike you, and whether you cooperate with them.

For the most part, they leave your home in no more than a mild state of disarray. However, I have had belongings broken, mirrors shattered, clothes torn up, wires left hanging out of appliances, holes in the wall, even a smashed window.

Remember; if nothing illegal is found at the end of the search. The police are held responsible for replacing your door, and any other damage. Under NO circumstances can the police ever notify a private landlord that they have executed a raid on the property WITHOUT YOUR PERMISSION. If your house is from the council or housing association- they DON'T need your permission.

It is ILLEGAL for councils and private landlords to evict you on the grounds that your home has been raided.

Once your home has been searched, sometimes a sniffer dog is also bought along, you are read your rights and taken into custody. Even if the search does not reveal anything, you will most probably still be arrested.

The police can detain you for up to 24 hours. Once they release you, it's time to get your front door fixed!!

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