Ten people have been arrested during the same police operation in County Durham that saw a £2m cannabis farm dismantled after it was discovered at a property in Peterlee. 

The police operation, which was across the region this week during Durham Police's County Lines Intensification Week, saw a large number of arrests and the discovery of numerous cannabis farms.

In a crackdown on illicit drug operations, police have confirmed that they have seized drugs, money and weapons from various properties.

During the operation, officers carried out warrants at several properties to disrupt drug gangs selling to and exploiting vulnerable people.

Among the arrested individuals was a man from Stanley, whose possession included a quantity of Temazepam and a man from Haswell that led to the confiscation of assets, including cash, a large knife and an air rifle.

The largest cannabis haul came in Peterlee, where officers located more than 2851 cannabis plants with an estimated street value of £2m, which were dismantled and seized.

Equipment with the value of £300,000 was also confiscated from the property.

The operation also saw the safeguarding of two individuals under the age of 18 who were at risk of exploitation.

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DCI Chris Smiles from Durham Police said: “Drug dealers and those associated with county lines target the most vulnerable, ruining lives and communities.

“I hope this activity 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.

“I would encourage anyone who has any concerns about young or vulnerable people becoming involved in illegal drug activity or you simply see something that doesn’t look right to come forward and speak to us - information from our communities is key to enable us to take action against this type of crime.”