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Thousands of pounds of drugs have been taken off the streets of north Oxfordshire in a series of police raids.

A five-strong team of officers, lead by Sgt Matt Powell, has been waging war on criminals in Kidlington, Bicester and Banbury since January.

Operation Dragnet has seen more than 40 people arrested in connection with drugs, burglary and assault, in 12 raids.

As a result, 11 cannabis factories, eight in Banbury and three in Bicester, have been discovered, with 600 cannabis plants seized and destroyed in the past three months.

Four people have been charged with possession with intent to supply and attempted production of a class B drug.

One person is still on bail and four others were cautioned.

Drugs, including magic mushrooms, cocaine, heroin, cannabis and amphetamine tablets, with a combined street value of about £10,000, have been seized, along with about £4,000 in cash.

Sgt Powell issued a warning to anyone connected with crime that his team were on their tails, and urged the public to contact police about suspicious behaviour.

He said: “The Dragnet team has the flexibility to either go on the hunt for criminality, disrupting and detecting it proactively, or to respond to any emerging issues and intelligence as it is reported by the public.

“We want to encourage the communities of Cherwell to call in with any information about criminality in their neighbourhood, no matter how insignificant they think it is.

“Anyone involved in criminality, or even just on the fringes of it, needs to know that, with the public’s help, they will appear on our radar.

“We will then make it our business to disrupt their criminal activity and ensure that they feel the full weight of the law.”

The team also has a ‘top 10’ list of known criminals who may receive a visit from officers at any time of the day or night to check on them.

Supt Andy Boyd said: “The results this team has achieved since it began operating speak for themselves.

“Law-abiding people can rest assured that the Dragnet team have put us firmly on the front foot, confronting those who chose to live a life of criminality.

“The message is simple: if you chose to commit crime, you can expect to face disruption to your daily routine and regular trips to the police station.”