Human trafficking arrests in Hartlepool as police seize vehicles and cannabis worth £200,000 in raids across town
Officers who executed warrants in Hartlepool made three arrests and seized vehicles, weapons, counterfeit cigarettes and £200,000 worth of cannabis.
Hartlepool’s Neighbourhood Policing Team and partners, including the National Crime Agency and Cleveland Fire Brigade, carried out raids at a series of properties in Hartlepool on Monday (August 1) before arresting three men.
During the operation, code named Operation New York, four vehicles were seized for not having insurance and a number of weapons seized.
Officers also found more than 21,000 counterfeit cigarettes, with about £200,000 worth of cannabis also recovered, along with associated equipment worth around £30,000.
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Two men were arrested on suspicion of human trafficking, production of cannabis and false imprisonment.
They have been released under investigation while enquiries continue.
A third man was arrested on suspicion of assaulting a police officer and traffic offences and one teenage boy was ‘safeguarded’.
Inspector Zoe Kelsey, of Hartlepool’s Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “I would like to thank all the different agencies who came together to work in partnership with Hartlepool Neighbourhood Policing Team during this operation.
“We have disrupted suspected organised criminals from alleged illegal activity including producing and distributing drugs and exploiting young people. This type of activity causes major disruption and has a significant financial impact on organised criminals.
“Hartlepool Neighbourhood Policing Team will continue to target organised criminals in order to help make Hartlepool an enjoyable and safe place for everyone.”
Anyone who wishes to report crime or antisocial behaviour is asked to contact Cleveland Police on 101, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, or visit www.crimestoppers-uk.org to submit a report anonymously.