HEROIN and crack cocaine with a street value of £27,000 were seized in a series of raids yesterday.

Three people were arrested during the swoops on properties in Middlesbrough town centre, as part of Cleveland Police's Operation Sabre crackdown on drug dealers.

Up to 60 officers targeted nine houses and two commercial buildings, including a taxi firm.

At a house in Abbingdon Road, heroin with a street value of £12,000 was recovered, along with a quantity of suspected crack cocaine, worth £15,000.

Police recovered £6,000 cash from other houses. A safe was seized from the taxi office, but it was locked and had not yet been opened yesterday.

A Jaguar car, suspected of being stolen, was also seized.

Three people - a woman aged 31 and brothers aged 34 and 31 - were in police custody and were due to be questioned last night.

A 38-year-old man was questioned on unconnected matters and released.

Chief inspector Gary Stephenson, who co-ordinated the operation, said: "This was a very promising start to a new wave of Sabre operations. We have simple message to drug dealers and other criminals, and that is 'We don't want you here'. There will be no let up on our part to pursue those who prey on the people and communities of Cleveland.