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Police swoop in dawn raids to target suspected drug dealers in Hyndburn
POLICE raided seven properties yesterday as part of a large scale operation to arrest suspected drug dealers believed to be involved in ‘extreme’ acts of violence.
At around 7.30am, officers used a battering ram to break down the door of a house in Tremellen Street, Accrington, to arrest two men. Sounds of children crying escaped from behind the broken door frame as police entered the home looking for evidence of drugs, large amounts of cash and financial and travel documents.
After half an hour of searching, the men, aged 32 and 37, were led away.
Five other men were also arrested under suspicion of drug trafficking. They were 25-year-old in Lodge Street, a 28-year-old in Steiner Street, a 21-year-old in Bradshaw Street West, a 22-year-old in Nutall Street and a 22-year-old in Westwood Street.
All the warrants were executed under the Misuse of Drugs Act and there was a further warrant issued for an address in Waterside Apartments, St James’ Court.
A 21-year-old man was also arrested at HMP Forest Bank Prison in Salford and is helping police with their inquiries.
A resident in the area, who witnessed the raid in Tremellen Street, said: “I am so pleased to see the police take action.
“People were frightened in their own homes and have been frightened to speak out.” There have been recent reports in Hyndburn of cars being smashed up, a stabbing, machete attack and organised fist fights.
More than 50 officers were involved in the raids, which were headed up by Blackburn, Darwen, Hyndburn and Ribble Valley chief superintendent, Bob Eastwood.
He referred to the initiative as his ‘swan song’ as he is set to retire from service on November 1.
He said: “This drug operations has been the product of six months hard work that saw the police and the community working together. We have had instances of extreme acts of violence in Hyndburn and those targeted today have reaped misery on the community.
“It was always suspected that drugs were at the root cause of the violence and we have sent out a clear message that we are doing something about it and it will not be tolerated.
“It is absolutely critical that people have confidence in the police.”
Claire Pritchard, deputy leader of Hyndburn council who attended the raids, said: “There was a general fear in the area about where all this violence was heading.
“There was a concern that the next stage would have been guns on the street and people being killed.
“I think the people of Hyndburn will be truly reassured by these arrests.”