DOZENS of officers from a newly formed police unit made seven arrests after smashing down doors during dawn raids across Hartlepool.
Cleveland Police’s Community Drug Enforcement Team burst into houses in Hunter Street, Cornwall Street, Oxford Road and Sheriff Street during the morning of high-profile action.
Seven people were arrested on suspicion of various drug offences and their homes were thoroughly searched by a team of more than 30 officers.
The officers had worn full body protection due to concerns there were harmful substances in the properties and police dogs were also called in to sniff out anything suspicious.
Detectives say they recovered suspected heroin, amphetamine and cannabis worth around £1,000 during the operation yesterday.
Detective Sergeant Daryll Tomlinson, from the unit, said: “The raids were focused on suspected drug dealers across Hartlepool who we believe to have been causing problems and anti-social behaviour in their communities.
“Our aim is to cut out drug-related crime and make the people living in these areas feel safer and to give them the confidence to report anything suspicious to the police.
“We also want to make it clear to those carrying out illegal activity that we are coming for them.”
A 39-year-old man was arrested in Oxford Road on suspicion of possessing heroin with the intent to supply heroin, a Class A drug.
A man, aged 59, and a woman, 34, were arrested in Hunter Street, off Murray Street, on suspicion of possessing with the intent to supply amphetamine, a Class B drug.
In Cornwall Street, a man, 32, and a woman, 48, were arrested on suspicion of abstracting electricity and possessing a Class C drug.
A man, 34, and a 33-year-old woman were also arrested in Sheriff Street on suspicion of possessing Class C drugs with the intent to supply and possessing cannabis, a Class B drug.
All those arrested were taken in vans to Hartlepool Police Station, in Avenue Road, to be questioned.
The Community Drug Enforcement Team has recently been set up to combat drug dealing across the Teesside area and detectives are keen to point out that any information will be acted on.
Det Sgt Tomlinson said: “We have a wide range of resources to combat drug dealers and we want to make it clear that we are not just focusing on Middlesbrough and Stockton and are tackling issues affecting Hartlepool.
“We are committed to taking drugs off the streets.
“It is the communities who give us the information to act on and we are able to put together a strong team at short notice to act on intelligence we have received.”
The Team can be contacted in confidence on the freephone number 0800 0929702.
Cleveland Police can also be contacted on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.