POLICE have issued a stark warning to people selling drugs as they smashed their way into three houses in one street.
Hartlepool Police carried out dawn raids in Rodney Street as part of their war on heroin dealers.
One man was arrested and hauled into the back of a police van as police searched three homes in the terraced street.
More than 20 officers had stormed into the houses after smashing two front doors in, while the third was unlocked.
A police sniffer dog was also on hand to search rooms and a caravan in the street, where most houses are boarded up awaiting regeneration.
The 31-year-old man, arrested on suspicion of possessing a class B drug, was taken to Hartlepool Police Station to be quizzed by detectives.
Acting Detective Sergeant Stuart Kelly, of Hartlepool Drugs Unit, said the activity yesterday morning showed that the town’s force will pursue all leads in their fight to rid the town of drugs.
He added: “Drug misuse blights communities and we are determined to remove illegal substances from the streets of Hartlepool.
“We will continue to work closely with our partner agencies and local residents to clampdown on those suspected of being involved in criminality.
“This proactive policing should provide a warning to anyone who may be involved in illegal activity to reconsider their actions, before we turn up at their door”.
Neighbourhood police officers also knocked on front doors in the surrounding streets to reassure neighbours and to explain what was happening, and how they can help tackle the problem.
Acting Det Sgt Kelly said information from the community is vital in their efforts to catch those spreading drugs around the town.
He is now appealing for anyone who has information on those involved in drug activity to contact Hartlepool Drugs Unit confidentially on (01642) 302181.