SUSPECTED drug dealers, robbers and burglars were among 24 people arrested in a six-day blitz on criminals in and around Keighley.

Police said they even found wanted people hiding in lofts and under piles of clothing during the crackdown, which has been praised by Keighley's MP John Grogan.

"We're beginning to see the impact in Keighley of the extra resources provided to the police by the West Yorkshire Crime Commissioner's decision to raise the council tax precept by more than inflation for the last two years," he said.

Keighley police inspector Khalid Khan said the operation had attacked "the heart of criminality in Keighley", and paid tribute to the "outstanding efforts" of the officers involved.

Keighley Central ward councillor Zafar Ali said the police initiative was a welcome follow-up to the Clean Up Our Town anti drug dealing campaign launched early this year by the then Conservative MP Kris Hopkins.

"It shows there are good people living here who've come forward to help the police rid our community of the disease of drugs and crime," he added.

"But we need to keep the momentum going. It's not a fight only for the police, or for the council, or for the MP alone.

"All of Keighley has to be united in saying we're not going to accept this anymore.

"Drugs are still very prevalent and although I don't think they'll ever be completely wiped out, I want to see the problem minimised so it no longer harms whole neighbourhoods and communities."

As part of the six-day operation, police officers were in action across Keighley, Haworth, Silsden and Ilkley, concentrating on antisocial behaviour, drugs, robbery and theft offences.

A spokesman for West Yorkshire Police said: "During the six days officers have made 24 arrests for offences of burglary, robbery, drugs, theft and assault to name a few.

"Out of these arrests two have been remanded for a total of 18 weeks in prison, and nine have been charged.

"Officers targeted areas raised by the community in relation to drug taking and dealing, and as a result have arrested four men over the six days and recovered over 250 wraps of Class A drugs. All have been bailed pending further investigation. A vehicle has also been seized in relation to these offences.

"Also, a warrant was executed on Skipton Road, Keighley with a quantity of Class C drugs found.

"Drivers of vehicles with defects have been targeted and reported to court for a number of offences. And a stolen bike was located in Devonshire Park – enquiries are ongoing to identify the owner.

"The week has seen our officers disrupt criminals and remove drugs from the streets. We've gone through doors and pulled people out who were hiding in lofts.

"Officers are committed to listening to the community and its concerns, and will tackle criminality head on."

Updates on the anti-crime offensive posted by the police on Twitter reported that prolific shoplifters had been detained at Keighley's TK Maxx and Morrisons stores, a fugitive who had been large since 2015 was arrested and homes of suspected offenders raided.

Keighley ward officer Sergeant Pete Softley said he and his colleagues had exploited a "massive" rise in information about crime being passed to them via the charity Crimestoppers.

He said street surgeries carried out by the police to attract people who would not normally attend Neighbourhood Forum meetings had also netted further intelligence.

"The people of Keighley have been really good," he said. "They've stepped up and shown confidence in reporting incidents, and we've acted on what they've told us."

Mr Grogan responded: "The top two crimes that people complain about at my advice surgeries are drugs and vehicle related offences so I welcome these arrests.

"Under the excellent leadership of inspector Khan in Keighley, neighbourhood policing is beginning to return.

"Each of the six wards in Keighley Constituency now has an assigned police constable supported in the three wards in Keighley town by three Police Community Support Officers.

"These are the eyes and ears of the police, who together with undercover operations obtain the intelligence which make arrests possible."