DRUG addicts in Swindon spent almost £50 a day on their habit, magistrates were told.

In court papers, Det Sgt Georgina Green, a Swindon specialist on County Lines drug gangs, said: “It’s estimated that drug users in Swindon generally spend £46 per day on their habit.

"Many drug users do not travel far to buy their drugs and will purchase locally for ease. This means that acquisitive crime will also be connected locally with an increase in offences such as burglary, theft, robberies and shoplifting. This crime has a significant impact on victims in the local community with both residents and businesses suffering as a result. "

In recent years, Swindon's trade in heroin and crack was increasingly controlled by city-based County Lines drug gangs. PC Craig Thompson, community coordinator, said the gangs were no strangers to violence: "The people involved in these gangs will not hesitate to use violence if they think someone has wronged them. This in turn causes people to stay quiet and to suffer in silence for fear of what might happen to them.”