Watch as police use chainsaw to enter house during raids across Sunderland and Washington

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The operation will continue into the evening.

Police have carried out raids across Washington and Sunderland today in a crack down on offenders committing serious violence.

Dozens of officers were included in the latest stage of Northumbria Police’s biggest ever operation.

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Police use a chainsaw to enter an address in WashingtonPolice use a chainsaw to enter an address in Washington
Police use a chainsaw to enter an address in Washington | sn

The force-wide Operation Impact was launched in Sunderland and South Tyneside last year and sees the force concentrate on particular types of offending that have been flagged up by members of the public as of particular concern.

The force works with partners such as Sunderland City Council’s anti-social behaviour team to target persistent issues.

Weapons and suspected drugs were recovered from one Washington address this morning and a man was arrested after officers used a chainsaw and battering ram to force entry into the house.

Officers enter the propertyOfficers enter the property
Officers enter the property | sn

Assistant Chief Constable Andy Hill was one of the senior officers taking part in this morning's activity.

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ACC Hill only joined the force in January but has quickly settled in: “Northumbria is a fantastic force, it’s a fantastic area to work in,” he said.

“I have been given a really warm welcome and I think things are going pretty well.”

Items recovered in a raid this morning including knives, a suspected tazer and suspected cannabisItems recovered in a raid this morning including knives, a suspected tazer and suspected cannabis
Items recovered in a raid this morning including knives, a suspected tazer and suspected cannabis | NP

“Although the force is dedicated to tackling serious crime every day, large scale operations such as today are a way to reassure the public that their concerns were being tackled.

“In Sunderland, we are looking to tackle serious violence in the area, which is one of our priorities, but most importantly, its one of the priorities that our communities tell us about.

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“Today is really all about bringing together the assets, capabilities and resources from across the force to work together with local partnerships to tackle violence and show our communities that we are there when they need us and that we are committed to tackling serious violence.

A man is brought out of the address in WashingtonA man is brought out of the address in Washington
A man is brought out of the address in Washington | sn

“An event like today, where we bring together the totality of the force are really good for the public, they are really good for our communities to see us out in force with a whole range of capabilities.

“We will have the drones out, we have got motor patrols out, and we are executing a series of warrants throughout the day, looking to target those who are wanted for serious violence offences.

“We will continue to do these throughout the year. Today’s focus is on serious violence but we might focus on something else next time.

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Assistant Chief Constable Andy HillAssistant Chief Constable Andy Hill
Assistant Chief Constable Andy Hill | sn

“I think these really help build confidence in communities that we are here and it is a really visible presence in Sunderland today.”

Anyone aware of any form of criminal activity in their area is asked to contact police and report it.

​You can do so by using the ‘Report a Crime’ or ‘Tell Us Something’ pages of the force website, or by calling 101. In an emergency, or if a crime is taking place, always ring 999.