Police have arrested three men and two women on suspicion of possessing a firearm after a raid in Darlington.

A samurai sword, a large amount of cash and substances believed to be illegal drugs were recovered from a house on Bowman Street.

The men, aged 25, 18 and 22, and women, 20 and 30, were taken into police custody for questioning on Thursday.

Officers from the North East Regional Organised Crime Unit (NEROCU) were supported by the National Crime Agency (NCA) and Durham Constabulary.

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Detective Chief Inspector Daryll Tomlinson, said: “Five suspects in the cells, drugs and a substantial amount of money believed to be linked to criminal activity, this is just the latest example of the proactive police work ongoing across the region to tackle all types of organised crime.

“This operation demonstrates the power of partnership working, which will continue under the banner of Operation Sentinel, our region-wide approach to pursuing offenders, protecting the public and dismantling serious and organised crime.”

Anyone wanting to report information linked to organised crime can do so via their local police or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. If a crime is ongoing, always call 999.