28 people charged following operation into organised and serious crime groups Date published: 20th December 2017 11.36am

Detectives charge 28 people with drug offences following an operation by Cheshire Police into organised crime groups suspected of exploiting vulnerable people to deal drugs in Widnes.

The 24 men and four women are all facing charges relating to conspiracy to supply Class A drugs. 25 have been remanded in custody after appearing at Chester Magistrates Court on Friday, 15 December. A 17-year-old boy has been bailed. All 26 will appear at Liverpool Crown Court on 15 January.

A 25-year-old man from Liverpool has been released under investigation and a 35-year-old woman from Widnes was released with no further action.

The charges relate to arrests made on Thursday, 14 December as part of a number of early morning raids in Widnes and Merseyside and one in West Yorkshire, with more than 340 officers executing warrants.

Following the execution of the warrants local police community support officers have carried out high-visibility patrols to offer reassurance to local residents.