LAW-ABIDING locals came together to crack down on dealers - as police acting on tip-offs from the public stormed homes and seized £20,000 worth of drugs.
Information from the community resulted in a series of police raids in Parson Cross, Sheffield.
Residents told police where they suspected drug-dealing was going on - and officers swooped on homes in co-ordinated strikes. Two raids yesterday, at semi-detached homes five doors apart on Wordsworth Avenue, took to eight the number of search warrants executed on the estate in the last fortnight.
PC Gareth Webb, who led the raids, told The Star: “We had ongoing intelligence that two addresses on Wordsworth Avenue were linked through controlled drug dealing, so it was important we executed the warrants at the same time.
“By showing the public we will act on information they provide, we hope to encourage more people to come forward.”
Locals told The Star they were delighted police were taking action.
One mum who lives on Wordsworth Avenue said: “It’s brilliant that some raids have happened. People were a bit scared to come forward with information about dealers but it’s good that the community is now coming together and tipping off the police.
“As the mum of a 14-year-old girl, drugs is a problem which does concern me. I don’t let my daughter out in the area much because of it - there are 16-year-olds around with cannabis and alcohol.”
And Peter Marriot, aged 63, who lives in the Holgate area of Parson Cross, added: “Most residents on this estate are decent, hard-working people and do not want drugs being dealt in the neighbourhood.
“When it comes to drug dealers, the majority of people do not normally want to get involved - but they have become fed up with the problem.
“People are worried about the risk of their children being sucked in, either through taking drugs or being recruited by older criminals to deal for them.
“I have seen young teenagers riding around on bikes to deliver drugs - one was carrying them in his sock.”
Yesterday’s raids saw officers jumping from cars and vans and running towards homes simultaneously - to avoid word of the searches spreading.
Officers and a police sniffer dog searched every room - and found around £800 of cannabis, including a recently cut crop, in one house, plus paraphernalia including scales and bags.
Before yesterday’s raids 12 people had been arrested on suspicion of involvement in Sheffield’s drugs trade.
Another two were arrested yesterday - a 33-year-old man on suspicion of possession of cannabis with intent to supply, and a 21-year-old man on suspicion of possession of cannabis and some pills, which need to be tested.
In total, a stash of Class A and B drugs worth £20,000 has been seized, and all the suspects have been bailed pending further inquiries.
PC Webb, of the North East Safer Neighbourhood Team, said he hoped the raids had a wider impact than just stopping dealers.
“We have concentrated on verifying community intelligence, and taking people off the streets who are involved in the supply of drugs.
“People who buy drugs are generally on low or no incomes, and commit crimes like shoplifting or thefts from vehicles to get money to pay for them.
“So we hope these kind of operations have an impact. There will be more to follow.”
Anyone with information about drug dealing should call South Yorkshire Police on 101.