POLICE raided properties across Wirral today as part of a major crackdown on the supply of drugs.
The North West Regional organised crime unit (TITAN) arrested 13 people after executing search warrants across Wirral, as well as Milton Keynes and Bristol, in relation to the supply of Class A drugs.
Warrants were executed at 18 properties in Wirral, including Rock Ferry, Oxton, Prenton, Birkenhead and Bebington.
A further four warrants were executed in Bristol and Milton Keynes.
The warrants followed an 18-month investigation into an organised crime group and drug supply.
Eight people, seven men and a woman, from the Wirral area were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to supply Class A and Class B drugs.
A 52 year-old man and 53 year-old woman from the Wirral were also arrested on suspicion of money laundering.
In addition a 22 year-old man was arrested in Milton Keynes and a 32 year-old man and a 34 year-old man from Bristol were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to supply Class A and B drugs.
Detective Inspector Paul McVeigh, from Titan, said: "Today’s operation has come as the result of a lengthy and complex investigation by Titan.
"Titan exists to tackle and take down the most serious, hardened and organised criminals who pose the more serious threat to the communities throughout our region and the action taken by police officers this morning is a key part of an on-going investigation into a criminal network we suspect of distributing large quantities of Class A drugs.
“The arrest of 13 people this morning is the result of a lot of meticulous, hard work by the investigation team.
“Class A drugs blight the lives of the people who become addicted to them. Some addicts can then go on to fund their habit through acquisitive crime, including burglary, theft and robbery, and this has a negative impact on the lives of people living in the communities where drug dealers and organised crime groups operate.
"There have been an increased number of reported cases of juveniles taking Ecstasy. The identification and dismantling of an ecstasy laboratory in Wirral earlier this year will go a long way in reducing the risk to public health within our communities.
“Criminals involved in the supply and distribution of controlled drugs don't care about the impact that their illicit trade has on decent members of the public, all they care about is the money they can make.
"They think they are untouchable and they live a lifestyle that is beyond their declared means and often have no legitimate employment to account for the money which pays for their luxury holidays and designer clothes.
"Our message to those involved in drug supply on Merseyside and indeed the North West is that you cannot escape justice and there are no borders, we will work with other forces to relentlessly pursue those profiting from serious organised crime.
"No-one should have to put up with drug dealing and the associated violence and gun crime it often brings.
"We will work with our communities to improve the quality of life for decent, law-abiding people and I would urge people to keep helping us do that by reporting any drug dealing or gun crime to the police or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."
See full story in the Chester Leader