Cleveland Police seize more than £1m worth of drugs and crush illegal off-road bikes

Credit Tyne Tees
In the first three days of the National Week of Action, Cleveland Police seized more than one million pounds worth of drugs, and made a number of arrests. Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees
  • Watch Rachel Bullock's report

More than £1million worth of drugs were seized by police officers during the first three days of an operation targeting anti-social behaviour across Teesside.

Cleveland Police also targeted illegal bikes, with a number seized and crushed, as part of the national Neighbourhood Week of Action campaign.

During the week, the force intensified its activity issuing a number of drugs warrants and arrests, in addition to tackling off road and illegal bikes across the area.

Described as a scourge on Teesside, police say illegal or stolen off-road bikes and quad bikes are often used to transport drugs or in other crimes.

The vehicles have also been used to intimidate and frighten drivers and pedestrians, with high profile videos being shared on social media of the bikes being ridden in convoy at high speed on public roads.

Using a combination of unmarked "spotter" cars and drones, Cleveland Police responded to sightings of the nuisance vehicles, as a priority throughout the week.

Inspector Ian Mitchell said: "People are scared and intimidated by them (the bikes).

"Cleveland Police is tackling this head on, and trying to get those quads and off-road bikes off the streets and bring those riders and offenders to justice."

Since last November the force has seized and crushed more than 50 bikes and quad bikes.

The vehicles have been used to intimidate and frighten drivers and pedestrians, with high profile videos being shared on social media. Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

"It's really satisfying, it's a really good morale lifter for my team" said Inspector Mitchell.

"We are part of the community as well, many officers live on Teesside as well and we want to make this a better place and peaceful place for everyone to live in."

He added: "We need information from people to be able to act upon. We need the information of where these bikes are being stored and who is riding them.

"We're going to carry on tackling this, to get them off the street."

He also said people should not fear reprisals are no personal information is taken when people are reporting crimes.

The national campaign has focussed on neighbourhood policing.

An estimated 1.6 million pounds worth of drugs were seized as well as 12 vehicles and off-road bikes and thousands of pounds worth of cash.

A total of 35 people were arrested in connection with the warrants and operations conducted over the week.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To know...