DRUGS with a street value of £85,000 have been seized in the first year of an operation to stamp out the supply of narcotics in Andover, according to Hampshire police.

The crackdown, which began in May last year, has led to the arrests of 90 people for drug crimes and the seizure of £23,000 in cash.

Championed by Andover’s Neighbourhood Policing Team, the campaign aims to “dismantle and disrupt” the supply of Class A drugs into the town, as a response to concerns raised by the community.

The operation targeted drug networks, mainly from London, which often use and exploit young people and vulnerable adults to commit crime.

Officers have also also focused on homes that have been taken over by networks to deal drugs.

Residents at these ‘cuckooed’ addresses are often vulnerable and police work with partners to support them where appropriate.

In April, officers used a partial closure order at a home in Suffolk Road, Andover, following reports of nuisance behaviour. The order, obtained at court, prevents anyone, apart from the residents, from being at the address.

Two people have already been arrested for breaching the order since it was imposed.

The operation has been run as part of Fortress, Hampshire Constabulary’s campaign to reduce the harm caused by drugs supply.

The scheme also supports those found to be exploited and on the periphery of drug crime by offering diversionary tactics through working with police partners.

Inspector Chris Taylor said: “Rather than run this operation for a few weeks, we have maintained it throughout the year to disrupt those who come to Andover to deal these harmful substances.

“These results would not be possible without the amazing support and information from the Andover community.

“We know how devastating these drugs and its associated violence can be, and we would like to thank everyone who has supported us by providing information.

“I’d also like to thank our hard-working and brave officers, who time and again have acted on information and intelligence on Class A drugs supply.”

Police are urging anyone who has information or concerns about drugs-related activity where they live to get in touch.

Insp Taylor added: “We are not complacent though, so our operation will continue, and we would like people to keep supporting us with information by dialling 101.

“Alternatively, people can call the Crimestoppers charity anonymously by dialling 0800 555 111.”