1. ITV Report

15 arrests made in dawn raid cracking down on Warrington drug operation

The dawn raids focused on targeting a well known Warrington drug network Photo: PA

More than 140 officers from Cheshire Police took part in dawn raids to crack down on a well known drug group in Warrington.

Homes in the town as well as Widnes, Cumbria and Humberside were targeted by police this morning, with £142,000 worth of cocaine being seized.

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Today's strike - known as Operation Rider - comes following a lengthy covert investigation carried out by officers from the Serious and Organised Crime Unit at Cheshire Constabulary.

Officers arrested ten men in Warrington and one man in Widnes, all aged between 19 and 41, as well as a 23-year-old man from Carlisle in Cumbria. A 28-year-old man has also been produced from prison. Police in Humberside have also arrested two men as part of the operation.

Detective Chief Superintendent Aaron Duggan, the Constabularies Head of Crime, said:

Today’s arrests follow a lengthy proactive operation to gather evidence and intelligence around those believed to be involved in serious and organised crime.

“It has been a huge and positive step in our continued fight against this type of criminality and we are committed to disrupt those intent on preying on the most vulnerable people in our communities.

“This investigation focused on an influential and established organised crime group in Warrington and I hope the action taken today further reassures the community that we are continuing to tackle this crime in a positive way.

“Protecting vulnerable people and communities in Cheshire is a priority for the Constabulary and we are determined in our approach to target those involved in serious and organised crime across the county.

“Today’s operation will undoubtedly play a crucial part in disrupting wider criminal activity and send a very clear message that Cheshire is a difficult place for them to operate.”

– Detective Chief Superintendent Aaron Duggan, Constabularies Head of Crime

Specialist officers were used to gain entry to the properties and officers are now carrying out detailed searches of all the addresses.

Detective Chief Superintendent Duggan added:

There is misery behind every drug deal. With the public’s continued support in providing us with key information to help us tackle serious and organised crime, we can help keep vulnerable people and our communities safe.

“If you do not feel comfortable speaking to a police officer then you can pass information anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

– Detective Chief Superintendent Duggan