POLICE hailed the arrest of two men suspected of dealing heroin and crack yesterday as a positive step in the battle against London drug gangs settling in Swindon.

Shortly after 3pm officers and sniffer dogs descended on Lawn Woods after a member of the public reported seeing two men acting suspiciously.

When they were approached by PCSOs the men ran away but were both caught a short time later.

Last night, a 22-year-old and 23-year-old, both believed to be from the London area, were in custody at Gablecross Police Station having been charged with intent to supply class A drugs.

Police conducted a search of the area and seized a quantity of heroin and crack, mobile phones and cash.

Sergeant Scott Hargreave, speaking at the scene, said: “We had received a report from a member of the public of two men dealing drugs in the area.

“When approached by officers the two men tried to run but were both caught.

“Having taken the men into custody, we conducted a search of the area and have found a number of items we suspect were used to sell class A drugs.”

It is believed the two men set up a tent in the woods and buried the drugs a short distance away. The Adver understands the person buying the drugs would approach the tent, hand over the cash and one of the men would then get the drugs.

A neighbour, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “There have been groups of men going into the woods but I didn’t know what they were doing.

“We had our suspicions something was happening in the woods because we saw police searching in a nearby ditch several weeks ago.

“It is reassuring to know they have got these men and they are keeping the streets safe.”

The arrests were the latest move in Operation Atlantic, which aims to stop violent gangs from London establishing a foothold in the town.

Working with the Metropolitan Police, a number of high profile raids have taken place in Swindon over the last year.

Sergeant Hargreave said: “We are very pleased with these arrests and it is a very positive day in the fight against drugs in Swindon.

“We recently arrested another man linked with Operation Atlantic so progress is being made.

“I would ask the public to remain vigilant and if they see anything suspicious to contact the police by calling us on 101.”