1. ITV Report

£2.5m drugs and weapons including 'knuckleduster and samurai sword' seized in Cleveland

Officers carry out a drugs raid. Photo: PA

Drugs and cash in excess of £2.5m were seized by police officers across Cleveland last year.

Cash totalling £85,350 plus drugs with an estimated street value of £2,416,804 were taken from the hands of criminals over the last twelve months.

Successful drugs seizures have included class A drugs, which were recovered during two days of action in central Middlesbrough in October.

Almost forty people were arrested and weapons including a knuckleduster, a baton and samurai sword were also seized.

'In September 2016 suspected cannabis worth £150,000 was recovered from a vehicle on the A19.' Credit: PA

Suspected drugs estimated to be worth around £7,500 were found hidden in a wardrobe and a loft in a property in Billingham on Sunday 31st January 2016. A man and woman were arrested in connection with this.

In April, suspected cocaine and cannabis estimated to be worth around £70,000 were recovered from a vehicle on the A19 and a 30-year- old woman was arrested in connection with the incident.

Also, in September last year, suspected cannabis worth £150,000 was recovered from a vehicle on the A19 close to the Portrack interchange. Two males were charged and remanded into custody in connection with the incident.

Inspector Tony Cross, from Cleveland Police’s Community Drugs Enforcement Team, said:

I would always urge the public to contact us with this information.

In seizing more than £2.5million in drugs and cash, the public can see that we are acting on their information and we are doing all that we can to rid the streets of Cleveland of drugs and the associated crime and antisocial behaviour that comes with it.

– Inspector Tony Cross

In July and December, a total of more than £2.5m in drugs were burnt at an incinerator in Cleveland, including cannabis plants, crack cocaine, heroin and amphetamine.

The achievements of the Community Drugs Enforcement Team are regularly praised at the local meetings I attend.

Residents value the dedication and commitment of our officers, which I have seen first-hand, who work diligently and professionally to tackle drug dealing and I thank them for their valuable work.

– Barry Coppinger, Police and Crime Commissioner for Cleveland