DRUG-DEALERS are to lose their homes under plans to combat the menace on North-East streets.

Police have drawn up a tough policy aimed at driving out dealers who make thousands of pounds peddling drugs.

Politicians are pressing the Government to give the policy the go-ahead.

They hope the North-East will be included in a series of nationwide trials designed to test the effectiveness of the policy.

Middlesbrough Council said a strong case had been made to Home Secretary David Blunkett to allow Teesside to be a trial area for the initiative, set out in the Anti-Social Behaviour White Paper.

And if it gets the go-ahead, courts would be given the powers to seize property belonging to drug-dealers.

Councillor Ken Walker, the chairman of Cleveland Police Authority, said: "Given our experience of the problems caused by criminals, many from other parts of the country, using the availability of cheap property to set up drug dens and crack-houses, I am hopeful that we will receive a positive response from David Blunkett."

Coun Walker has led a crusade to stop narcotic-dealing "drug tourists" from moving into the area, attracted by cheap property prices.

Coun Walker said: "If we are successful, I expect that we will be considering in detail at the police authority how we can ensure that these measures can be implemented as effectively as possible in order to underline what I describe as drug tourists that are not welcome in this area.

"We will do everything to bring them to justice and put an end to their evil trade."

His call comes after several Teesside Crown Court trials which resulted in the sentencing of Jamaican drug-dealers.

Last week, five illegal immigrants from Jamaica were jailed for a total of 18-and-a-half years after being charged with conspiracy to supply crack cocaine, a Class A drug.

After their sentences, they will be deported.

Coun Walker said: "The judge said in court that 'the sooner this country is rid of you, the better', and those are exactly my sentiments too."

He attended a meeting of the Association of Chief Police Officers, where president Chris Fox warned that a "tidal wave" of mass immigration had brought a new wave of crime.

He said: "Mass migration has brought with it a whole new range and a whole new type of crime.