ELEVEN people have been charged with conspiracy to supply heroin following raids in Northallerton.

All 11 appeared at Richmond Magistrates Court last Thursday and Friday and are due to appear before Teesside Crown Court later this week. Four people were released on bail and seven people were remanded in custody.

The dawn raids were carried out in the town on November 12 and 13. Following the arrests, specialist teams searched each house accompanied by financial and benefit fraud investigators.

Det Insp Dai Malyn, head of the operation, said: "We want to put all the hard work and efforts over the last few weeks to good use to demonstrate to the public that we are tackling issues brought to our notice on drug taking and drug supplying."

Part of the funding for the raids came from the Hambleton Communities Against Drugs initiative, which is a three-year funding stream from the government.

Trish Thornton, Communities Against Drugs officer, said: "Hambleton does not have a big problem in comparison to Cleveland or West Yorkshire but the community expects something to be done if a situation arises. We will continue working with police in tackling any problems".