THREE men have been arrested during a targeted operation to crack down on organised crime in the Tees Valley.

Cleveland Police officers swooped on Newtown and Thornaby areas of Stockton this morning and arrested two men on suspicion of firearms offences and one on suspicion of aggravated burglary.

Police also seized £3,500 in cash, incapacitant spray and suspected stolen gold jewellery.

Acting Detective Chief Inspector Jon Tapper said: “The arrests made this morning send out a clear message that we will not tolerate organised crime in our area.

“Each of the men arrested were wanted for a number of alleged offences and our aim was to disrupt their criminal activity in a bid to prevent further misery being caused in our communities.

“I would like to thank all of the officers involved in today’s activity and hope that this reassures the public that we will do everything possible to bring the offenders to justice.”

The men remain in police custody at this time.