BARROW'S top cop said he makes "no apologises" for dragging suspected drug dealers out of bed at 6am for a "rude awakening".

Temporary Chief Superintendent Rob O’Connor said Operation Horizon had been 10 months in planning and was set up as a response to the 14 drugs deaths in Barrow, which led to the town being labelled one of the UK's highest for drug deaths.

He said: "We understand that rightly, county lines drug dealing is a concern for the Barrow community and we are working hard to disrupt the supply chain from other areas of the UK to Barrow.

OPERATION HORIZON: WATCH as police batter down the doors of suspected drug dealers in Barrow

“The fact we have travelled and arrested people from as far away as Coventry and London shows the determination we have to stem the supply of drugs into South Cumbria.

"The arrests over the last couple of days have seen Class A drugs seized with a street value of several thousands of pounds, as well as several thousands of pounds of cash also recovered.

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“I make no apologies for the fact that my officers over the last two days have forced entry to the homes of suspects and given them a rude awakening by dragging them out of their beds at six in the morning.

"People who deal drugs bring misery to others lives, and sadly we have seen too many people in South Cumbria die due to drug misuse - too many people become victims of crime committed by addicts who break into people’s houses and cars to feed their addictions.

“Over the years we have seen significant custodial sentences handed down by the courts to people involved in drug supply, and once again our actions on Operation Horizon show that drug dealing will not be tolerated in South Cumbria.

"This week’s operation underlines that we will travel far and wide to bring people to justice.

“Thousands of hours of operational officer input has been undertaken to-date on Operation Horizon and they are hours the public do not see due to the sensitive nature of covert police investigations like this.

“I would like to thank the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit, the Metropolitan Police Service and West Midlands Police for their support throughout the operation. Working with other forces and partner agencies has allowed us to undertake a high volume of warrants simultaneously, which is imperative for the operation’s success.

“There is a great sense of community in Barrow and some fantastic support services available.

"I would urge anyone affected by drug use or county line drug dealing to contact police on 101, or contact services such as Unity or The Well or other providers.

“The proactive work has been made possible, in part, thanks to the introduction of 25 new police officers dedicated to community policing, with proactive officers in Barrow having been tasked with aspects of the operation.”

Cumbria's Police and Crime Commissioner Peter McCall praised the efforts of Barrow police.

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He said: “This has been a superb operation by Cumbria Police working with other forces.

"The operation highlights the significant unseen police work which is happening on a daily basis right across the county.

"I know that controlling illegal drug use and supply is a significant concern for the public and this operation is but one example of the work the police are doing to deal robustly with those who try to deal drugs into Cumbria, the message to drug dealers is that Cumbria is not an easy option and the police will pursue anyone who deals in this destructive trade in our county.

"Some of the additional money that we’re asking for from the community in the council tax precept this year will allow us to build on the investment we have already made in our policing service.

"It will also go into increasing resources and capability in the areas which involve more ‘behind the scenes’ type of work, for instance carrying out criminal investigations and managing complex case work involving County Line gangs and organised crime networks, such as today’s Operation Horizon."