Manchester

Manchester and Salford drug raids watched by public

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Media captionSome members of the public who witnessed the raids said they found it a "positive experience"

Members of the public have been invited to watch a series of police raids targeting drug dealing in Greater Manchester.

Residents, members of community groups and sixth-form students were taken in minibuses to see the raids in Salford, Manchester, Stockport and Bolton.

One thousand officers executed raided 100 properties and arrested 75 people.

They recovered class A drugs with a street value of £2,000 and items including stolen meat.

A police spokeswoman said officers had also found cannabis, jewellery and thousands of pounds in cash.

Most of those arrested are being questioned on suspicion of supplying class A drugs, she said. Others are being held on suspicion of supplying class C drugs and possession with intent to supply.

'Really dramatic'

About 130 members of the public gathered at Manchester City's Ethiad stadium at 04:30 GMT before joining the officers the tactical aid, mounted, dogs and firearms units, as well as local officers.

Chief Constable Peter Fahy said: "It is about Greater Manchester Police being very open about the tactics that we use.

"The reality is we are going into a house early in the morning - we are breaking down a door and you can hear children screaming because they are obviously frightened - to arrest people who are involved in dealing in class A drugs.

"It is really important we show we are with local people who are complaining about drug dealing and they can see the tactics we are using."

Image caption Police said they were "determined to root out" drug dealers

One local resident, Lee-Ann Igbon, said it was "really dramatic".

"It was really interesting getting the opportunity as part of the community to come on board and see what the police actually do."

She said it helped put her mind at rest that police were tackling issues including drug dealing in her neighbourhood.

Labour councillor Mary Murphy, who represents Hulme on Manchester City Council, said it was the largest raid she had ever witnessed.

She said it was "amazing" to see so many members of the community going along to witness the events.

Ch Supt Russ Jackson said: "Cracking down on drugs in our communities is a big priority for GMP and I hope today shows the people of Manchester just how seriously we are committed to this cause.

"Drugs are a major driving force behind many other crimes such as burglary, robbery and vehicle crime, and that is why we are determined to root out all those involved in this trade, from the addicts to the sellers to those who are bringing the drugs in."

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