Houses in Yate were visited by police as part of a nationwide crackdown on drug county lines.

Drug County Lines is where a criminal gang establishes a drug dealing operation away from their usual area.

This can involved getting young people involved in smaller towns to make more money.

The visits were part of a nationwide drive by police and the National Crime Agency to tackle known county lines and ensure drug users vulnerable to exploitation are offered help and support.

Avon and Somerset Police have been looking in to the issue after gangs based in cities like London are targeting the most vulnerable people in small towns across the area to sell class A drugs on their behalf.

The police made visits to over 100 addresses in Avon and Somerset, including in Yate and Sodbury, suspected of being cuckooed by dealers.

Cuckooing is the the term used for when drug dealers use violence, exploitation and intimidation to take over the home of a vulnerable person in order to use it as a base for drug dealing.

As part of the week of action, a number of warrants were executed at properties linked to drugs, resulting in the arrest of eight men for offences including drug possession and supply, weapons offences and violent crimes.

Three men and three women have also subsequently attended a police station voluntarily for interview in connection with similar offences.

In total, 114 vulnerable adults were spoken to following welfare checks at 126 addresses in the Bath, Bridgwater, Mendip, Taunton, Weston-super-Mare, Yate and Yeovil areas. Two children were also safeguarded following the visits.

During these visits, officers were able to seize huge quantities of tablets along with bags of white and brown powder believed to be class A drugs as well as bags of cannabis.

Police also came across a collection weapons during the visits.

Four knives, two imitation firearms and an air rifle were also confiscated along with a large amount of cash and mobile phones.

Detective Chief Inspector Kerry Paterson, force lead for county lines, said: “We all know drugs have a detrimental impact on our communities, with anti-social behaviour and other crimes such as theft and burglary committed by users looking to fund their habits.

“But county lines gangs also pose a significant threat to users who are especially susceptible to exploitation. Many do not view themselves as victims and are often manipulated into carrying out crimes or subjected to violence.

“We are committed to tackling those who inflict such harm on our communities.

Detective Inspector Charlotte Tucker, regional coordinator for county lines with the South West Regional Organised Crime Unit (SW ROCU), said: “With 90 arrests and more than £50,000 seized across the south west in the past week alone, it’s clear there is targeted action being taken against Lines operating in our region.

“Equally important is the work done to identify vulnerable young people and adults being exploited by drug gangs.

“But, we know that every day more young people and vulnerable adults are being targeted by these gangs and the challenge of dismantling these lines is a very real one, not just for law enforcement, but for safeguarding, health and education professionals as well."