1. ITV Report

Fourteen arrested in County Durham raids on suspected drug dealers

More than 150 officers and support staff were involved in the operation. Photo: ITV News

Police have arrested 14 people in a series of early-morning raids targeting suspected Class A drug dealers across County Durham.

At 6am this morning, teams of officers raided properties in Consett, Burnopfield, Shotley Bridge, Leadgate, Bishop Auckland, Spennymoor, Ushaw Moor and Stanley.

Simultaneous raids were also carried out at addresses in Jarrow and the Merseyside area on behalf of Durham Constabulary.

More than 150 officers and support staff were involved in the operation, which resulted in 11 men aged between 24 and 44, three women aged between 37 and 61 arrested.

All were detained on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs and some for money laundering.

The raids were part of Operation Sledgehammer, the force’s long-running campaign to tackle serious and organised crime.

men arrested
women arrested

Temporary Detective Chief Inspector Nicola Lawrence, from Durham Constabulary, said:

Today’s operation has been an overwhelming success.

“This morning’s raids are the culmination of months of hard work and investigation which would not have been possible without the support of local people who have come forward with valuable pieces of intelligence.

“I hope today’s action sends out a clear message that we will not tolerate criminality of this nature in our force area, and we will take action to dismantle, disrupt and destroy these networks.”

– Temporary Detective Chief Inspector Nicola Lawrence, Durham Police

Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) are being deployed to the areas around the target properties to provide reassurance and answer any questions residents may have.

Anyone with any information about drug dealing and crime in their area is being asked to call Durham Constabulary on 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.