Cleveland Police set fire to £1m worth of drugs


POLICE have issued a fresh appeal for public help in tackling the war on drugs after destroying £1m-worth of illegal substances.

Drugs cops across the Cleveland Police force area have seized the drugs since launching the Community Drug Enforcement Team (CCDT) in November last year.

To highlight the amount of drugs which have been recovered in that time, police packed the drugs into a van before disposing of it in a burning furnace.

The haul, which was seized from raids which took place across the county, included cannabis plants, amphetamine, cocaine, crack cocaine and heroin.

Since CDET was launched, more than 80 offenders have been brought to justice and over 100 suspects are on bail as part of live investigations.

Acting on intelligence from communities, the team has seized drugs with a street value of around £1.5m since January this year.

The community has not only benefited from these drugs being off the streets - but oddly - by energy being put back into towns and villages because of the burn at the incinerator.

Detective Inspector Christian Ellis said: “By seizing these drugs we have stopped one million pounds going into the pockets of criminals, but destroyed in a furnace as part of our one million pound drugs drop.

“We want to say a huge thank you to the public for reporting their suspicions as many of our investigations start by a concerned community member reporting their fears to us.

I would urge people to keep reporting to us, we take the supply of drugs and associated anti-social behaviour extremely seriously and will act on information that comes in.”

Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger added: “This team has made a real impact in such a short space of time by removing these drugs from the streets.

“I’m particularly pleased to see their efforts as I was present at one of their first raids in the community.

“This one million pound drugs drop is a win for communities and our hardworking officers, and we will keep working in partnership to ensure that it’s the criminals who lose every time.”

Anyone with information about drugs activity in their area is asked to call the Cleveland Community Drug Enforcement Team on 0800 0929702, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.