A SERIES of police raids saw 'several' arrests made in Banbury, as part of a crackdown on dealers who exploit the vulnerable.

Officers carried out seven warrants carried out yesterday in Middleton Road, Merton Street, Northumberland Court, Calthorpe Street, Samuelson Court and Usher Court.

The raids were carried out specifically to tackle activity dubbed 'cuckooing': when dealers take over vulnerable people's homes to set up a drug den. 

Thames Valley Police said a 'number of people were arrested' and officers are seeking closure orders on the addresses, meaning only the named occupants will be allowed there.

Neighbourhood Inspector for Cherwell and West Oxfordshire, John Batty, said: "This was an operation designed to target organised crime groups operating across county drug lines who are supplying controlled drugs in Banbury.

"These groups from big cities such as London and Birmingham have been operating in the town and have been exploiting vulnerable people.

"This involves taking over the addresses of vulnerable adults in order to deal drugs from them.

"This operation was designed to deprive the use of these premises to these groups and arrest those involved in the supply of controlled drugs.

"This operation is designed to send a clear message to those who operate in this way that we will not tolerate this kind of activity in Banbury."

The raids were part of the force's Operation Stronghold campaign to tackle serious and organised crime in the county.

Details of the arrests have not yet been released.