FIFTHTEEN people were arrested in Warrington this morning after hundreds of officers raided homes as part of a drugs ring crackdown.

Officers descended on 19 properties in the town to target alleged members of an organised crime group today, Wednesday.

The large-scale operation follows a 12-month investigation by police to stop the supply of class A and B drugs including cannabis and cocaine across the north west.

More than 200 officers from Cheshire Constabulary were involved in the dawn raids and a total of 18 suspects have been arrested across the north west.

VIDEO: Footage of a raid at Peasley Close, Padgate 

One woman and 14 men were arrested aged between 20 and 40 in Warrington.

One warrant was executed in Winsford with one man arrested and another man was arrested at a property in Merseyside.

Another warrant was also executed in north Wales with one man detained.

All suspects have been arrested on suspicion of supplying class A and B drugs and are currently in custody.

The police strike was a result of a lengthy investigation into an organised crime group.

During the operation seven firearms were also seized.

DS Aaron Duggan, head of crime at the constabulary, said: “Today’s coordinated arrest activity comes after 12 months of hard work.

“A dedicated team of officers have worked hard to gather evidence and intelligence while protecting vulnerable members of the community from those suspected of being involved in serious and organised crime.

“I am particularly pleased that this operation has reduced a significant number of firearms that were in circulation.

“Obviously the possibility of the criminal use of the firearms was a key threat we addressed.

"Our action will, I hope, reassure the community that we will tackle serious crime in a positive way.

“The investigation focused on one influential and established organised crime group in Warrington who are suspected of being involved in the supply of cocaine and cannabis within the community.

“The action taken by officers reinforces Cheshire Constabulary’s commitment to proactively target, disrupt and dismantle those suspected of being involved in organised crime.”

Searches of the properties are ongoing.