POLICE have arrested ten people during a series of dawn raids in Ellesmere Port and Merseyside targeting organised crime.

Cheshire Police swooped on 11 addresses in Ellesmere Port and arrested one woman and eight men aged between 16 and 34.

Two addresses were also targeted in Merseyside and a 26-year-old man was arrested.

All are currently in custody assisting police with their enquiries.

The action was the result of a lengthy investigation, which was carried out by Ellesmere Port Local Policing Unit and focused on the activities of a gang suspected of being involved in the supply of Class A drugs.

Detective inspector Chris Williams said: “The action taken today comes as a result of an eight-month long investigation focusing on an organised crime gang suspected of being involved in illegal drugs.

“The strike phase this morning is the result of months of hard work to gather evidence and intelligence.

“The action taken by officers reinforces Cheshire Constabulary’s commitment to proactively targeting, disrupting and dismantling those suspected of being involved in organised crime.

Specialist officers were used to gain entry to the properties and officers are now carrying out detailed searches of all the addresses.

DI Williams added: “Information from the public is absolutely vital in the fight against drug related activity and I encourage anyone who has any information about organised crime or drug related crime in their community to come forward.”

Police and crime commissioner David Keane said: “Today’s Constabulary today is essential in providing reassurance to our communities that the issue of drugs and organised crime is being taken seriously and that residents have a police service committed to keeping them safe.

“I would like to thank all of the officers and staff involved in the operation for the dedication and commitment that they have shown and I would like to assure the people of Cheshire that this type of action will continue.”

Anyone with information is asked to call Cheshire Police on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.