GANG members who have muscled in on communities in order to expand their drug network have been warned to expect a no-nonsense crackdown by police - after officers raided known boltholes this week.

Class A and B drugs were seized in the raids as part of Operation Fortify - which took place in Kendray, Swinton and Mexborough - as well as cash and mobile phones.

A warrant on Tuscany Gardens, Kendray, saw quantities of cannabis and suspected amphetamine drugs seized, as well as a large sum of cash and jewellery.

A 44-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of cultivation of cannabis, possession of cannabis, possession of amphetamine and money laundering. He has been released under investigation while enquiries continue.

In one flat, suspected crack cocaine worth an estimated £600 was found and two men, aged 44 and 30, were arrested on suspicion of possession of Class A drugs with intent to supply. They have been released under investigation.

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At another flat, cannabis worth an estimated £10,000 and a hydroponics set up were discovered and seized. A small amount of cannabis and around £1,000 in cash was recovered from another flat, with the occupant being reported on summons for possession of cannabis.

Mobile phones and cash were recovered from a further property, with two men aged 36 and 32 arrested on suspicion of cultivation of cannabis. The 32-year-old man was also wanted by the Metropolitan Police so has been transferred into their custody.

Detective Sergeant Lee Wilson said: “The operation was a real team effort by Fortify and neighbourhood officers from across the force to significantly disrupt organised criminality in relation to the supply and distribution of controlled drugs.

“As a result of this concerted activity, drugs, cash and other items used to facilitate the supply and distribution of drugs in our force have been removed from the streets.”

Fortify, which was set up as a response to residents’ concerns about high levels of drugs and gangs allegedly using derelict housing as boltholes for dealing, has secured more cash to pinpoint priority activities for officers involved.

Det Sgt Wilson added: “We know that drug-related crime has a marked and, at times, devastating impact on our local communities and I hope the public is reassured by the action taken to disrupt the activities of those who would seek to commit this crime.

“This operation, while large-scale and very successful, must not be taken in isolation and we will not be resting on our laurels. We will catch up with criminals and we will do everything we can to disrupt illegal activities, which cause harm to the public.

“Our actions are also closely informed by the public we serve and I’d like to take this opportunity to urge anyone with concerns about drugs or other crime in their community to contact police, or Crimestoppers anonymously if you’re not comfortable speaking to us directly.”

If you have any information about suspected drug crime in your community, you can report this to police on 101. You can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers completely anonymously via their website - www.crimestoppers-uk.org - or by calling 0800 555 111.