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21 July 2011, 11:21
15 people have been arrested as part of an operation to target drug dealing in Oldham.
They were arrested when officers from Greater Manchester Police raided 15 addresses just after 6am this morning.
Officers from Oldham's Neighbourhood Policing Teams launched the operation, codenamed Operation Rescind II, as their response to concerns the community had that drug dealing was a problem and, in turn, increasing crime and antisocial behaviour in the area.
The raids follow on from Operation Rescind, where officers raided 16 addresses in March 2011, which came after months of investigations by officers from the Oldham division and Serious Crime Division into the distribution of heroin and crack cocaine.
In the latest raids this morning, 15 men were arrested on suspicion of drugs offences, including possession with intent to supply class A drugs, after officers executed warrants across the Oldham area. Properties were raided in the Hathershaw, Chadderton, Westwood, Alts, Werneth, Moorside and Ashton-under Lyne areas.
Shotgun ammunition has been recovered from an address on Cherry Avenue, Alts and a quantity of cannabis has been recovered from another address.
More than 100 officers were involved in the raids and included officers from the Neighbourhood Policing Teams, Serious Crime Division, tactical aid units and dog handlers.
Extra officers from Oldham's Neighbourhood Policing Teams will be patrolling the area for today and the next few days to provide a visible presence and reassurance to the community.
Superintendent Catherine Hankinson, from Greater Manchester Police's Oldham Division, said:
'Today shows that the desire to rid our communities of the blight of drugs is continuous and we will go back and keep tackling the issue in the same area as many times as necessary until the problem is dealt with.
'Residents told us that class A drug dealing was a worry to them so we have responded robustly to combat this.
'Drugs wreck lives and the crime associated with them causes misery to the whole community - so we do everything possible to find out who is responsible and put them before the courts.
'These arrests are the culmination of hundreds of hours of work by officers and we have used divisional and force resources to gather the intelligence we needed to take this action. It is not a quick process and we thank the community for their patience while we have been building the strongest case possible.'