Four arrests as police raid seven properties in Hartlepool today in operation targeting suspected drugs production
A police operation involving 50 officers is underway targeting suspected cannabis farms in Hartlepool.
Seven properties across the town have been targeted in the operation this morning.
Three people have been arrested on suspicion of drug offences and there was one further arrest for an unrelated matter, although police say the figures could increase.
Raids aimed at tackling the production of cannabis were carried out at seven addresses across the town; in Holt Street, Raby Road, Jackson Street, Belk Street, Raby Gardens, Stockton Road and Airdrie Grove.
Officers say they discovered a cannabis farms at an address on Raby Road, with the potential to produce cannabis worth in excess of Â£15,000.
Cannabis worth around Â£800 was recovered from two properties on Raby Gardens and Airdrie Grove, alongside a small quantity of suspected cocaine.
A man and woman were arrested at an address on Raby Gardens on suspicion of possession with intent to supply cannabis.
A man was arrested on suspicion of production of cannabis at an address on Raby Road and a woman was arrested in connection with an outstanding warrant at an address on Stockton Road.
All four have been taken into custody. There were no arrests at the property in Holt Street.
Around 50 police officers were involved in the operation and police say it will continue throughout the day.
Detective Sergeant Max Leonard, of Cleveland Police's community drug enforcement team, said: "This is a Cleveland Police operation based in Hartlepool aimed at tackling the supply and production of cannabis and ultimately reduce the supply of cannabis on the streets of Hartlepool.
"The operation has been very successful.
"We have recovered significant quantities of cannabis which we believe was destined for the streets of Hartlepool.
"We have uncovered cannabis production as well, which we were able to dismantle and disrupt.
"We have made a number of arrests in relation to drug offences and unrelated matters.
"There has been four arrests at this stage, three for drug related offences and one for an unrelated matter and that number may increase in time.
Det Sgt Leonard said cannabis is "a big problem throughout the whole of Cleveland and that is reflected nationally as well".
He added: "The customer base for cannabis is massive, and as such, there is a lot of demand and therefore a lot of supply.
"It's nice to be able to show the public that we are listening to what they're telling us and that we do care and will respond to intelligence where we can.
“Our message to anyone who may have information regarding drugs activity in their area is to contact us, and we will take action.”
Anyone with information regarding drugs activity in their area is asked to contact Cleveland Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or www.crimestoppers-uk.org.