Suspected drug dealers got a rude awakening when a team of 60 cops carried out dawn raids to catch sleeping crooks.
The Operation Scorpion team arrested 15 men and two women as part of surprise warrants executed in Herts, Beds and London on Wednesday morning.
It is part of a drive to tackle the supply of Class A drugs in Hemel Hempstead and follows a long running investigation.
Det Insp Tim Johnson, who led the operation, said: “I’m pleased with the results achieved. This operation follows a protracted intelligence led investigation into supply of Class A drugs in Hemel Hempstead spanning a number of months.
“Often it isn’t only the dealing of drugs that affects a community, but the resulting crime carried out by those looking to feed a drug addiction so we are targeting people suspected of dealing drugs and being involved in burglary, handling stolen goods and other crimes in the area.”
A total of 16 homes were raided in Hemel Hempstead, Watford, St Albans, Beds and London, where drugs and cash were also seized.
Of those arrested, 14 are from Hemel Hempsted and have been detained on suspicion of a range of offences including the supply of Class A and B drugs, theft and burglary. A man from Dunstable, another from London and one of no fixed address were also arrested.
Det Insp Johnson said: “We are committed to driving down crime in Hemel Hempstead and I hope this reassures people that we will act on information from the community about suspected drug activity.
“I would encourage anyone who has information about drug taking or dealing to share this with their local officers or call police on the non-emergency number 101. You can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”
If you or anyone you know has an addiction to drugs and would like help, they can contact Frank on 0800 77 66 00 or visit www.talktofrank.com