TWELVE people were arrested in dawn raids by police as part of a major drugs crackdown.

More than 130 officers swooped on 10 houses in Burnley and one in Brierfield during the operation yesterday.

Eight men and four women were being held last night on suspicion of possession with intent to supply class A drugs, police said.

The action was the second phase of Operation Regenerate which saw more than 100 officers raid 12 houses in Nelson last Wednesday.

Thirteen people were arrested in those raids.

Officers executed search warrants at suspects' addresses in Spencer Street, March Street, Griffin Close, Waterbarn Street, Thursby Road, Linby Street, Francis Street, Cameron Street and Parkinson Street, all Burnley, and Reedley Road, in Brierfield.

Yesterday searches were still being carried out at the houses as police looked for evidence.

Operations Manager Superintendent Damian Darcy, from Pennine Division police, said the operation was aimed at combating suspected cocaine and heroin dealers in Burnley and Pendle.

He said: “Once again we have taken action to tackle organised crime and suspected drug dealing in Pennine Division.

“I hope the action helps to reassure people in Burnley that we are taking action to deal with the problems that are affecting their neighbourhoods.

“Drugs can blight our communities. People have told us that drug dealing, crime and anti-social behaviour are issues affecting their community.

“Not only do they bring obvious dangers to a person’s health, but they also lead to further anti-social behaviour and crime such as burglary, robbery and car crime, which are often committed to fund a drug habit.

“Information is the key. We want people to come forward with their concerns and reports of suspicious behaviour so that we can clamp down on people believed to be involved in drug dealing."

Members of the local neighbourhood police team have been carrying out reassurance patrols throughout the day to explain to residents why the raids took place and listen to any concerns.

Coun Shah Hussain, who represents the Daneshouse with Stoneyholme ward, where two of the raids took place, welcomed the police action.

He said: “Action like this needs to be continuous so it is good to see police on the street. Often once one drug dealer is arrested another will soon fill that void. Hopefully police will continue with this strong action.”

Last week, officers raided a number of addresses in Nelson and arrested 12 people on suspicion of drug supply offences.

Five were subsequently charged, one was released without charge and six people were released on police bail.