DRUG dealers in Worcester have been sent a tough message after a string of raids and searches led to arrests.

Helen Wain, Safer Neighbourhood Team Inspector, said police had made 11 arrests in Worcester during February and March following a series of drugs raids and stop and search activity, including the use of sniffer dogs.

They have also interviewed eight people voluntarily under caution and 12 individuals have been dealt with for possession of cannabis with a range of sanctions. These include a street warning for cannabis, penalty notice (£90 fine), caution and charge (the sanction used depends on the specific circumstances of each case along with any previous criminal history of drugs possession or supply) and one person summoned to court for cultivation of cannabis.

Inspector Wain said: "During February and March this year Warndon and Gorse Hill (Tolladine) and Rainbow Hill Safer Neighbourhood Teams have been responding to concerns raised by residents about the negative impact of drug use and dealing in the area. Working together with officers from a range of departments including CID, police dog handlers, the Operations Patrol Unit, the Special Constabulary and Force Tasking Team over the two months 10 drugs search warrants have been executed and officers have conducted both high visibility and plain clothes patrols in the Warndon, Gorse Hill and Rainbow Hill areas.

"Our aim was to send a message to individuals involved in the supply of controlled drugs in the area that this behaviour will not be tolerated in our communities and to target and disrupt those concerned.

"We also have ongoing investigations relating to a number of individuals currently on police bail on suspicion of supplying controlled drugs as a result of this operation.

"Although this specific operation has now come to an end, we are keen to build upon the good work done here and will continue to target those causing harm to our communities through the supply of drugs. In order to do this effectively we are reliant on the support of the community and would urge people to come forward and tell us about people they believe to be dealing drugs in their area."

Members of the public can contact the police via 101 or can report issues anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 and can find details of their local Safer Neighbourhood Team on the West Mercia Website at westmercia.police.uk/localpolicing/south-worcestershire/