A SHORT, sharp blitz on drug trafficking in pubs and clubs across East Cleveland has dealers on the ropes, police say.

Officers say that Operation Fareham has severely affected the supply of illegal Class 'A' drugs. They have arrested 23 people since the launch of the offensive at the end of March this year.

More than £4,000 of hard drugs including cocaine and ecstasy were seized during the run of the operation, which was aimed at catching people using licensed premises to cover illegal activity, particularly in the Redcar area.

Det Insp Colin Galloway of Langbaurgh District Drugs Unit vowed: "There will be no let-up in our all-out war against those dealing drugs in our communities.

"We have other initiatives in the pipeline waiting to be rolled out.We also want to remind the public that we will always act on good quality, up-to-date information about anyone dealing in their area.''

Mr Galloway said there had generally been a positive reaction to the operation among businesses involved.

Langbaurgh Police operate a confidential free phone line for anyone wishing to report drug activity. The telephone number is 0800 0929 702.