NINE people have been arrested in a series of raids across Sunderland this morning.
At around 8am, officers carried out eight search warrants at addresses in Houghton, including Wordsworth Avenue, Seaham Road, Shakespeare Street, Kirkstone Close, Waller Terrace, Meadow Street, South View Terrace and Marigold Crescent.
Eight men, aged 36, 33, 28, 26, 20, two aged 19, 18 and a 17-year-old girl have all been arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of controlled drugs.
All are currently helping police with enquiries.
A quanitity of cocaine, cash and a firearm and ammunition have been seized by police.
The activity comes as part of Northumbria Police’s Operation Soundwave aimed at silencing criminals during the summer months.
Chief Inspector Dave Willett, from Sunderland Area Command, said: “This is an example of the proactive action we will take against people suspected of being involved in crime.
“The purpose of this operation was to target those suspected of being involved in drugs and their supply and I hope the public are reassured by the nine arrests we’ve made.
“It should also come as a warning to those involved in criminal activity that we are actively targeting them.
“Illegal drugs can have a devastating effect on those who take them and cause harm in our communities.
“They can also play a huge part in other crimes such as theft and burglary and we’re determined to disrupt the supply onto the streets of Sunderland.
“Anyone who suspects drug activity in their neighbourhood should contact us.”
Police and Crime Commisioner (PCC) Vera Baird added: “Northumbria has one of the lowest crime rates in the country and activity like this shows both mine and the force’s determination to continue to reduce crime and target those who seek to profit from their offending.”
The PCC is also looking to maximise the amount of assets police seize from criminals such as drug dealers through the Proceeds of Crime Act.
People can contact police on 101, extension 69191 or via the Northumbria Police website, www.northumbria.police.uk