Approximately £50,000 worth of illegal tobacco was seized from an address in Melksham yesterday, as part of Wiltshire Police’s largest ever singe operation.

The day of action, supported by Operation Harness, was focused on disrupting the county’s drugs trade, and saw over 70 addresses raided with 47 people arrested.

It was largely concerned with locations in Swindon and London, but did also include investigations in Melksham.

A police spokesman said: “It was from one of the people arrested in Swindon at one of the shops raided. It was a follow-up enquiry, so at their home address in Melksham, in the Sandridge Road area.

“It’s a combination of hand-rolled tobacco and cigarettes, which was seized in the afternoon by one of the Harness teams.”

Senior investigating officer for the covert operation, Detective Inspector Mike Rees said: “Yesterday's activity sends a strong message out to anyone who sees Wiltshire as an easy target, or Wiltshire Police as a soft touch.

“The operation was the culmination of over a year’s hard work from our undercover officers who are putting themselves at risk by associating with known criminals, often without any protection, to build up the intelligence we need for an operation like this.

“I would like to pay my personal respects to these officers – I have total admiration for what they do.”

Anyone wishing to report suspected drug use or dealing in their area should contact Wiltshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 where information can be left anonymously.