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Burnley MP in call for more government cash to tackle drug gangs

Burnley backbencher Antony Higginbotham made the plea to policing minister Kit Malthouse the day before he joined officers on a major series of raids across East Lancashire and Greater Manchester which saw nine people arrested.

Tuesday’s dawn swoops followed an investigation codenamed Operation Callaway centred around a violent incident which occurred on

Salus Street in Burnley on February 4.

On Monday Mr Higginbotham told Mr Malthouse in the House of Commons: “Drug dealing is a despicable crime that preys on the vulnerable, damages communities and causes misery to so many. Locally the Burnley and Padiham neighbourhood policing team have set up a taskforce to tackle this issue.

“Could you confirm that local police forces will continue to have the resources and support they need to really tackle this issue and rid our communities of it?

“Will you meet with me and Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Andrew Snowden to see what more we can do on this issue?”

Mr Malthouse MP replied: “I am always happy to meet with PCCs and their MPs to talk about fighting crime.

“We’re having enormous success with county lines and that is off the back of significant government investment.

“Please be assured that we will be making a very strong case into the spending round for the continued investment.”

Speaking afterwards Mr Higginbotham said: “I promised that we’d take a tougher approach to crime. Part of that is about the police the resources they need to crackdown on those who cause misery to residents in Burnley and Padiham”