CLASS A drugs, stolen cars and weapons have been seized in a huge police operation which resulted in more than 50 arrests.
Operation Yarrow was launched to disrupt the supply line of class A drugs across the region.
It involves groups operating from large areas such as Birmingham and Wolverhampton coming to smaller towns. They target vulnerable people by using force or coercion to take over their properties and to distribute drugs. The practice is known as ‘cuckooing’.
Over two weeks officers executed 14 warrants at properties across the region, which led to 54 arrests and the seizure of drugs including cocaine, heroin and cannabis. Cash and weapons were also seized including knives and Samurai swords.
And patrols on the M6 acted on intelligence to track down and stop cars involved in the distribution and make arrests.
Supt Scott Jones of the Regional Organised Crime Unit led the operation.
He said: “This operation was all about working together across the region for maximum effect to disrupt the dealers and to protect the vulnerable.
“Adult drug users, vulnerable women and younger members of the community are exploited for their properties or to store or deal drugs. They are also used for the transportation of the drugs across the country.
“We won’t tolerate this activity in our communities and will do everything we can to prevent the exploitation of vulnerable people.”
Supt Jones said that as well as making arrests the operation had ensured support was in place for drug users or vulnerable victims.
Chf Insp Faz Chishty from Warwickshire Police said: “We will remain vigilant because with one line of drug supply taken out there will always be other groups looking to come in and take their place. It is important that we work to make the area as hostile as possible for these people.”
Police officers are calling for anyone with concerns about drug activitiy in their area to call them on 101 or ring 0800 555 111 to speak to Crimestoppers anonymously.
Anyone needing support for drug addiction can visit www.talktofrank.com for help.