Thirteen people were arrested when police raided the homes of suspected heroin dealers blighting lives in a Northumberland town.
People living in Blyth have raised concerns that the lethal drug was still being pushed on their streets.
So yesterday officers stormed nine homes, arresting five woman and nine men believed to be behind supply of the Class A drug.
Chief Supt Dianne Winship, of Northumbria Police’s Northumberland Area Command, said: “We’ve carried out a full and thorough investigation and this activity is a culmination of those inquiries. The action is in direct response to concerns raised by residents. The vast majority of the town are law-abiding and there is no place for anything which has a negative impact on the quality of life of others.”
Homes at Hortondale Grove, Beaumont Street, Gladstone Street, Milldale Avenue, Salisbury Street, Marlow Street, Chancery Lane, Laburnum Avenue, Ingoe Close, Benridge Park, and William Street, were raided. Those arrested were taken into police custody to be questioned on suspicion of offences including conspiracy to supply Class A drugs, supplying Class A drugs. and obstructing a police officer.
Police have stressed that it was a small network being targeted and they have seen no signs of a return to the level of drug taking that earned Blyth’s reputation as heroin capital of the country in the 1990s.
Chief Supt Winship added: “I’d like to stress that this mainly involves drug dealing which is specifically contained within Blyth amongst a small group of people.”
Northumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner. Vera Baird, has praised the officers’ work. She said: “I am committed to ensuring that police will focus relentlessly on the people causing harm in our communities – in particular those involved in the supply of illegal drugs. I welcome this operation which was carried out in response to concerns raised by local people.”
Representatives from Homes for Northumberland accompanied officers at the raids, issuing warning letters that legal action could be taken against tenants in light of the police activity.
Samantha Mason, director of neighbourhood services at Homes for Northumberland, said: “Our customers’ welfare is at the forefront of everything we do and we are fully committed to providing safe neighbourhoods and communities in which to live. When this means taking action against the small number of tenants who disrupt this we will not hesitate to do so in partnership with Northumbria Police.”