Five people in Oldham charged as part of major investigation

Five people from Oldham have been charged as part of a major investigation into county lines and modern slavery offences. 

Georgia Leigh, 22, of Golbourne House in Shaw, and Simon Davies, 47, of Higher House Close in Chadderton, have been charged with conspiracy to supply class A drugs and section two of the Modern Slavery Act. 

They have been remanded in custody and are due to appear at Manchester Magistrates' Court today (Friday). 

Three more people from Oldham have also been charged with conspiracy to supply class A drugs and section two of the Modern Slavery Act, and released on bail before appearing at Manchester Magistrates' Court today (Friday). 

They are Ashley Caveney, 27, of Alva Road in Oldham; Claire Halford, 47, of Dorset Road in Failsworth; and Garfield Graham, 53, of Dorset Road in Failsworth. 

Police carried out raids at 10 addresses in parts of Oldham, Manchester and York as part of a joint operation between Greater Manchester Police and North Yorkshire Police into county lines and modern slavery offences which has lasted four months. 

GMP say since the inception of the operation - codenamed Homestead - the force has been working alongside North Yorkshire Police and local partners as part of a multi-agency response to "ensure the safeguarding of vulnerable people coerced into criminal activity". 

County Lines is the term used to describe gangs and organised criminal networks involved in exporting illegal drugs into areas across the UK, using dedicated mobile phone lines. Criminals are likely to exploit children and vulnerable adults to move – and often store – drugs and money.

As organised crime can take many different forms, there can be various different signs to look out for. Some of the most common are:

  • Unexplained gifts and cash
  • Drug paraphernalia
  • More than one phone (often known as a graft phone)
  • Lots of travel tickets such as bus and train tickets
  • New friends
  • Increased missing from home episodes
  • Secretive or withdrawn from family and/or friends
  • Lying- unable to retell a story without confusion or holes in the story
  • Receiving excessive calls or messages from ‘new friends’ 
  • Getting picked up or dropped off by unknown people in unknown cars

Anyone with any information should call 101 quoting Operation Homestead. Details can also be anonymously passed to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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