A SERIES of high profile drugs raids have been carried out by police across Exeter.
Police teamed up with members of the National Crime Agency for the first time to execute three warrants simultaneously at 6am across the city on Tuesday.
They took place at addresses in Heavitree, Pennsylvania and the city centre.
Two men were subsequently arrested under the Misuse of Drugs Act on suspicion of the production and supply of Class B drugs.
The men, aged 44 and 51, have both been bailed until May. Samurai swords were also found at one of the properties.
The Echo accompanied officers on the raids, which were carried out under the banner Operation Assist, a new partnership between officers in Exeter and those from the NCA.
At one of the addresses in Heavitree a quantity of suspected cannabis was discovered along with evidence of previous cultivation of the drug.
Two further warrants were executed later in the day in Exwick, where a seizure of suspected class B drugs, cash and phones were found.
Further arrests were executed for fraud offences involving searches at three locations in east Devon.
A 67-year-old man and 64-year-old woman were arrested on suspicion of fraud and have been released on police bail until April, 28.
The day of action involved around 60 officers and staff, with 30 each from the police and NCA. This is the first time the two organisations have worked together but it won’t be the last.
Detective Inspector Grant Leitch said: “I want this to be a repeated pattern every few months. Criminals need to know we are in pursuit of them and there is no-where they can be that we can not reach them.
“It is essential that criminals know we grip their underworld and are in control of it. We will relentlessly pursue them wherever they are and they should see this as a warning.”
Lisa Williams, NCA manager, added: “This is very much about the NCA working more in partnership with the police.
“It has been a successful operation that has made a positive impact on communities in Exeter. Drugs are very evasive in the community and we want to make sure everything is being done to stop it.”
These include patrol officers and police community support officers to reassure the public, proactive teams to gain entry and detectives to carry out the ongoing investigation.
The warrants were executed as a result of lengthy intelligence gathering by police into the supply of drugs in the area.
Following the raids members of the neighbourhood policing team leafleted the local area to try and reassure residents.
Exeter sector Inspector Tanya Youngs said: “This sends out a really strong, positive message. We also hope to get further community intelligence from it.”