DRUG related crime will ‘not be tolerated’ in Deeside as the community fights to make their streets safe again.

The Leader previously reported that 18 defendants were all jailed in relation to Operation Tide - with their sentences reaching almost 150 years collectively.

Mold Crown Court had heard how the nationwide drug trafficking scheme, based in Merseyside, had supplied class A substances including heroin and cocaine to Scotland, North Wales and the South of England - to an estimated value of more than £2 million.

The gang controlled a significant proportion of the drug trade in Deeside, particularly Connah’s Quay.

Cllr Andy Dunbobbin said this was brilliant policing work, but residents must remain vigilant to continue making streets safer.

He said: “This was an excellent result regarding the arrests and the sentencing so I’m really pleased about that. It sends out a strong message as well that we won’t tolerate that behaviour and the blight it puts not only on Connah’s Quay but the Deeside strip.

“It was a massive operation and they had a positive result all around. I’m pleased about that but I’m also hoping that inevitably it will have a positive impact on other crimes, petty crimes like bike thefts or sheds being broken into, misdemeanours like that, which still have a massive effect on the community.

“We just have to keep working with the police, this was a big story but it doesn’t mean that element is still not going to be around Deeside, we will still expect pockets of this so we need to be mindful of that and encourage people to contact the police.”

Cllr Dunbobbin said he has been working with Cllr Paul Shotton and local rangers and police officers to carry out work in hotspots like the Rock, to create a more open space.

He added: “We’ve been cutting back hedges and things like that to make spaces more open and safer for people to use. People know where these drug dealers are going to be and avoid the areas.

“There are things going on to make the community safe, but we have to continue reporting crime. We’ve had this fantastic result which gives confidence to residents but we are not naïve, we know that someone else may come along and start up again.

“Just be vigilant, report it and work together as a community because this is a real good example of what can happen when we call pull together.”

The Leader has previously reported the issue of drugs blighting the Deeside area.

Jack Sargeant, MS for Alyn and Deeside said he is keen to take this up with the government to prevent drug related crime.

He said: “There is no doubt in my mind that the issue of drug related crime is getting worse in Deeside, particularly Connah’s Quay and Shotton. I welcome the work to shine a light on this matter.

“I recently carried out a listening exercise over Facebook and had a big response, I took my evidence to North Wales Police.

“They confirmed what we all already know, we need more police officers on our streets to fight back against the dealers and the associated anti-social behaviour.

“Less than a year ago Boris came to this community and promised a pitiful 62 more officers for the whole of North Wales.

“This promise has not been delivered on and the results of years of police cuts are evident on our streets. UK Government Ministers would not tolerate this in their communities and I am not tolerating their failures in mine.

“I will be taking my evidence to the Home Secretary to demand we get the resources we need.”