A series of police raids designed to disrupt prolific criminals have been hailed a success.

About 30 officers executed four warrants on homes on the Weston estate in Otley in a bid to tackle a gang who have been involved in drug dealing, burglaries, thefts and anti-social behaviour.

And although no-one was arrested on the night, the officer in charge of the operation said an amount of suspected drugs, stolen property and cash were recovered.

Sgt Lee Fletcher said the carefully orchestrated raids would have sent waves through the criminal fraternity in the town.

“It will have disrupted the criminals and also given the public confidence we're on to them,” he said.

Sgt Fletcher said the raids were phase three of a three-month long operation, which has already seen several people arrested and remanded in custody for a spate of crimes including possession of drugs with intent to supply, burglary and theft.

Friday's action involved officers from Wakefield.

Entry was forced into four homes on the estate and fingertip searches of the properties turned up a range of crime-related items including a bag of pills, which could have been Ecstasy tablets or amphetamines.

At another property, hundreds of pounds was found divided into equal piles, and suspected stolen items were also recovered.

Sgt Fletcher said officers would continue to target people involved in the gang operating in Otley and further afield across the north west Leeds area.

Phase one of the operation had seen ringleaders arrested, with phase two identifing members of the group and disrupting the drug supply.

Phase three is aimed at street level dealers and reducing anti-social behaviour.

“We’re determined to put them out of action,” Sgt Fletcher said.

  • Read the full story Monday’s T&A