POLICE have raided two sites in the Bishop Auckland area as part of a crackdown on organised crime.

Around 30 officers executed search warrants on Green Acres, near Green Lane, and Hostel Farm, near Toronto, at around 10am.

Six officers from HM Revenues and Customs also joined the operation.

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Officers continue to search the premises for stolen property including combi boilers, vehicles and parts, drugs and red diesel.

A large amount of cash and several vehicles were found and investigations are ongoing.

RSPCA officers were also expected to attend one of the sites to investigated possible animal welfare issues.

Inspector Martin Peace, who led the action, said: "This is part of the overriding Operation Sledgehammer against organised crime.

"The message is that we cannot have individuals banding together to commit crime or intimidate the local community.

"This is an ongoing operation and we have more checks to make."