1. ITV Report

Twenty-two arrests following drugs raids

Kent Police officers take part in early-morning raids targeting the drugs trade Photo: ITV

Our reporter Iain McBride accompanied police as they carried out the raids and earlier he sent this report.

Officers executed a number of search warrants across the Medway towns in a series of early-morning raids today.

The action follows a three-month intelligence led operation by the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate which saw undercover officers target street-level drug dealers.

During the course of the operation police have seized suspected crack cocaine, heroin, cannabis and stolen property.

Today's raids are part of Kent Police's ongoing action to tackle drugs in Kent.

Those arrested have been taken into custody and if charged will be put before magistrates via virtual court technology. This allows police, CPS and the courts to process defendants quickly.

Assistant Chief Constable Gary Beautridge, who led the operation said: "Today, we have infiltrated and brought down an organised drugs network. Our action is a win for law abiding residents who deserve a safe neighbourhood and a blow to those involved in the supply of illegal drugs."

Today, we have infiltrated and brought down an organised drugs network. Our action is a win for law-abiding residents."

– Assistant Chief Constable Gary Beautridge, Kent Police

He added: "Kent Police is using virtual court technology to put those charged before magistrates within hours of arrest. This allows officers to get back out onto the streets quickly and continue to take action against those who blight our communities by dealing drugs.

"Our action is ongoing and will not end today. Our message is simple, if you are involved in supplying drugs then we will target you. If you didn't get an early wake up call from officers today - expect one soon, you will be arrested.

"Kent Police is committed to working with our local communities and partner agencies to tackle illegal drug use. Report suspicious activity to us and we will take action - together we can make Kenteven safer."

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