Police have made several “significant” drug-related arrests at Scarborough’s Barrowcliff estate as part of an operation to tackle serious and organised crime in the area.

This morning (July 8) at a car park near Scalby, around 50 officers and 10 vehicles prepared for a dawn operation to make at least four simultaneous arrests across Scarborough’s Barrowcliff estate

The ‘day of action’ is part of North Yorkshire Police’s multi-stage project to “reclaim and rebuild the neighbourhood” where some residents say crime is almost an everyday issue.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) joined officers and witnessed police execute warrants on leafy streets that, at first glance, might not bring to mind crime and illegal drugs.

Sgt Tom Wilkinson of the Neighbourhood Policing Team who helped lead Monday’s enforcement operation said it represented the second phase of the police’s ‘clear, hold, build’ plan and was focused on looking for drugs and drug-related paraphernalia.

He said: “These [arrests are a result] of intelligence from the community, partners, and professionals and we have all been working together to tackle crime in Barrowcliff.”

Sgt Wilkinson thanked the public “for working with us and giving us information that we need to do this core role of removing serious crime from the estate”.

He added that the police would now be seeking convictions and that the neighbourhood policing team would revert to community engagement, high visibility patrols, and intelligence gathering,

However, some residents have raised concerns about the effectiveness of police operations on the estate as well as concerns that crime will move to other areas.

Meanwhile, other local projects in Barrowcliff are trying to engage young people with a different approach.

Kimmie Avison, the CEO of the Gallows Close community centre works “quite closely with a lot of the young people on the estate”.

In September the centre will launch a new project called A Different Path seeking to engage 14 to 19-year-olds “who are not doing well in school, aren’t participating, or can’t manage being in a classroom environment”.

She said the project aims to give “harder-to-reach children” something else to focus on – from cooking to horticulture and woodwork – in a less regimented environment and after six weeks they will receive a recognised certificate.

Ms Avison says she hopes it will “inspire them to further education, an apprenticeship, or finding employment in something that they enjoy doing”.

North Yorkshire Police is cooperating on the Different Path pilot project and Sgt Wilkinson said that the police were “all about community engagement and reassuring the community that we are here for them”.

Asked how long the police’s Barrowcliff operations would last, he added: “There is no timescale to it”.

“It could last a couple of years or it could be over much quicker than that, the point is that we work closely with partners including the council and we leave Barrowcliff a better place without serious and organised crime.”

At the end of the operation, some officers returned to Gallows Close to man an outreach police bus.

Speaking outside the community centre, CEO Kimmie Avison had a message for Scarborough and Whitby’s new Labour MP Alison Hume and the Government: “We are doing a lot of the work in communities and it’s not recognised enough, we don’t get paid for it.”

She added: “There needs to be more investment in these types of centres to secure more youth provisions and support.”