MORE than £1m worth of drugs went up in smoke when Cleveland Police incinerated the majority of the illegal substances they have seized since January.

Detectives have recovered more than a tonne of drugs, including cannabis plants, amphetamine, crack cocaine and heroin, that was dropped into a blazing furnace today (Wednesday, June 25).

The force’s community drug enforcement team (CDET), which was launched in November, has brought more than 80 offenders to justice and seen more than 100 suspects are on bail as investigations continue into their arrest.

Detective Inspector Christian Ellis said: “By seizing these drugs we have stopped £1m going into the pockets of criminals. We want to thank the public for reporting their suspicions as many of our investigations start by a concerned community member reporting their fears to us.

“I would urge people to keep reporting to us, we take the supply of drugs and associated anti-social behaviour extremely seriously and will act on information that comes in.”

The drugs were loaded into the rear of two vans before being transported to the incinerator in the force area where it was instantly destroyed in the furnace.

Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger said: “This team has made a real impact in such a short space of time by removing these drugs from the streets. I’m particularly pleased to see their efforts as I was present at one of their first raids in the community.”

Anyone who suspects there are drug activities taking place in their community is urged to call the CDET on 0800-0929-702 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.