MORE than 60 people were arrested as part of a major crackdown on drugs operations linked to County Lines in Keighley and Skipton.

The initiative was spearheaded by the police, in collaboration with Yorkshire and Humber Regional Organised Crime Unit.

Half the 62 people arrested, on suspicion of drug supply offences, have been charged.

During the operation, more than £100,000 in cash, 3kg of cannabis, and crack cocaine and heroin were recovered.

Also, weapons including batons, knuckle dusters, two swords, a machete and crossbow were seized.

Detective Chief Inspector Tom Levitt – of West Yorkshire Police – who headed up the operation, said: "This has been a significant proactive operation tackling drugs and organised crime.

"Through working with our partners, we have managed to dismantle more than 20 County Lines from Keighley to Skipton.

"Bradford’s Precision Team has worked tirelessly over the last 18 months, and these arrests and charges are the culmination of its hard work.

"We know the devastation that drugs can have on the community, and I hope this operation provides reassurance that we are taking this issue seriously."

Inspector John Barker, of Keighley Neighbourhood Policing Team, says: "Residents say drugs are a huge concern in the area, and I would like to thank members of the community who provide vital intelligence about drug supply.

"I hope this action over the last few weeks sends a clear message that we take drug crime extremely seriously and we will do everything we can to keep people safe and get these drugs off the streets."

The initiative was welcomed by Keighley MP Robbie Moore.

He said: "This is one of the biggest anti-drug-dealing operations in recent memory and I’d like to thank West Yorkshire Police for targeting these dealers head-on, adopting the no-nonsense approach to drug dealing I have long fought for as Keighley’s MP.

"Drug crime has painted our town in a terrible light for far too long, and ever since I was elected I have made tackling this scourge on our town one of my top priorities.

"Last month, I brought the Attorney General to Keighley to meet with our police and receive an update on drug dealing and anti-social behaviour operations across our area. This month, I brought these issues directly to our Home Secretary.

"I won’t stop fighting until this issue is tackled once and for all and these criminals are brought to justice. I hope this is the first of many such operations in our town."