MORE than 300 officers have conducted one of the largest synchronised operations to combat county lines drug trafficking.

A combined force of Merseyside Police, Police Scotland and North Wales Police (NWP) officers have executed 24 warrants as part of Operation Tide, a a cross border series of synchronised early morning raids on Thursday, September 5.

North Wales Pioneer:

Detective Superintendent Steve Williams and Supt Jane Banham brief officers at the police headquarters in Colwyn Bay. Picture: Kerry Roberts

Following a briefing of more than 60 officers by Detective Superintendent Steve Williams and Supt Jane Banham at the NWP Headquarters in Colwyn Bay, reporter Duncan Rieder and photographer Kerry Roberts joined a team of seven officers as they executed a warrant on Kingsley Road, in the Garden City area of Connah's Quay.

North Wales Pioneer:

Seven officers execute the warrant at the Kingsley Road property in Connah's Quay Picture: Kerry Roberts

Arriving at the location at 7.13am, officers used a power saw and a ram to gain entry to the property within a minute, before a man was taken into custody at 7.22am.

Following the successful raid - and the confirmation of the successes of the other operations - Supt Mark Pierce of the Eastern Area Command hailed the success of the large scale operation in disrupting the trafficking of Class A drugs, as well as associated violence and money laundering. It is understood that firearms teams have also been involved in other operations.

North Wales Pioneer:

The man was taken into custody within eight minutes of arrival. Picture: Kerry Roberts

Supt Pierce said: "This morning, officers from NWP supported by colleagues from Merseyside have executed 24 search warrants across North Wales and areas in Liverpool.

"The purpose of this morning's coordinated action is to directly target serious organised crime groups distributing Class A drugs throughout our force area and in line with the force's vision of making North Wales the safest place in the UK.

Of the 24 warrants, 15 were executed in Merseyside, seven in North Wales and two in Scotland. Currently 16 people have been confirmed to have been arrested, with more to follow.

Supt Pierce added: "Our commitment to keeping our communities safe remains a priority and I'm sure today's action will reassure many. I'd like to thank the communities in Flintshire, Conwy, Anglesey, Liverpool ans Scotland for their patience, understanding and support whilst the operation unfolds.

"Distribution of controlled drugs will not be tolerated and we will continue to take positive, robust action, however we can't tackle this alone and key to all our work is intelligence. I cannot emphasises enough the importance of the community sharing their concerns with us.

"We are listening and we'll act when the time is right."

North Wales Pioneer:

Supt Mark Pierce hailed the success of the large scale operation. Picture: Kerry Roberts

Officers are still on the scene of the Kingsley Road raid, and are expected to remain for some time as they conduct a search.

Anyone with any information relevant to ongoing operations can contact police on 101, via the web live chat here or anonymously by telephoning Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.