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Week long police crackdown rounds up suspected street dealers in Middlesbrough
SUSPECTED drug dealers got an early morning wake-up call when Cleveland Police launched a week-long operation picking up known suspects.
The force targeted dozens of addresses in the Gresham area of Middlesbrough throughout the week with the final few taking place this morning (Friday).
Operation Clean Street began on Monday as part of an ongoing response to a community meeting where local people highlighted drug dealing as a priority.
Following the raids, reassurance patrols by Neighbourhood Policing Team Officers took place with input from Middlesbrough Borough Council Street Wardens and from drugs charities offering assistance to those involved in drugs.
Temporary Detective Inspector Matt Murphy-King, who led the drug enforcement operation said: “This is the culmination of an extensive proactive drugs investigation, targeting street level dealers of class A controlled drugs.
“We received a significant amount of information from the general public and worked closely with partner organisations which allowed us to gather substantial intelligence, which is the lifeblood of an operation such as this.
“It can often take a significant amount of time before enough evidence is collected to make an arrest and Operation Clean Street has involved months of hard work and determination from all involved.”
Detective Chief Inspector Dave Lamplough, Crime Manager for Middlesbrough, added: “This operation was about listening to the concerns of the local community and responding to their needs.
“The impact of the change in local policing in Gresham is significant but there remains further work to be done with the support of local residents in providing community intelligence to driver further policing activity.”
And Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger saw for himself police action during the first day of the operation.
He said: “This is a perfect example of how I want policing to be carried out across Cleveland, listening to the views and concerns of local communities and then responding to bring offenders to justice and improve the quality of life for people on their streets and in their homes.
“Of course, ensuring that these kinds of operations are carried out effectively does require a great deal of planning and preparation but I am sure that people in Gresham will see that it has been worthwhile.”