Merseyside Police have arrested seven men on suspicion of drugs offences following dawn raids this morning.

Officers executed 12 warrants at addresses in Rock Ferry and West Derby.

Four men from Rock Ferry, aged 32 and 34, and two aged 28, were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to produce cannabis.

A 36-year-old man from Rock Ferry was arrested on suspicion of possession of a controlled drug.

A 51-year-old man from West Derby and a 30-year-old man from Rock Ferry were arrested on suspicion of production of cannabis.

Searches of the properties are ongoing but following the execution of a warrant at an address in Rock Ferry officers found a quantity of what is believed to be cocaine.

The arrests are a culmination of a 12-month operation targeting the supply of cannabis in Merseyside and during the course of the investigation officers have already recovered more than 250 plants with an estimated street value of £250,000, along with drugs paraphernalia.

Inspector David Westby, who is leading the operation, said: "Today's action highlights Merseyside Police's continued commitment to targeting those involved in the illegal supply of drugs.

"Drugs not only blight our communities but also fuel all sorts of other crime which affects the lives of ordinary working people.

"I would encourage residents to keep reporting suspicious or criminal activity to the police so that we can take rigorous action."

Those arrested this morning have been taken to police stations where detectives will interview them.