THREE men have been arrested after police swooped on drug users and thieves in dawn raids.

Police in riot gear smashed in the front doors at several addresses early yesterday morning as they searched for drugs and stolen property.

The raids started at 6am in Earnshaw Street, Morris Green.

Despite the noise, only one neighbour briefly looked out of the curtains to see what was going on before going back to bed.

Another seven raids took place throughout the morning in Rumworth where police say vehicle crime is a problem.

A 36-year-old man was arrested in Cleveland Gardens on suspicion of bypassing his electricity meter after officers forced their way in.

The flat, a suspected drugs den, proved a hazard for police searching it because used needles were strewn about the bedroom and were hidden among clothes.

Police also found weapons inside including a Samurai sword and a wooden bat.

In other raids a 33-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply cannabis and cocaine in Brandwood Street, Daubhill.

A 39-year-old man was arrested for cultivation of cannabis in Hibernia Street, Deane, and a 39-year-old man was arrested for abstracting electricity in Willows Lane, Deane.

Police did not find anything at the address in Earnshaw Street or in the properties in Henry Lee Street and two in Church Avenue. Insp Andy Sidebotham, of Bolton Central neighbourhood policing team, said: “This activity sends out a strong message to the local community that we will not tolerate criminals and will take action with the help of the community. We urge anyone with concerns to contact us and information received will be investigated.”

Anyone with information about drugs or other crime can contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously on 0800 555111.