A MAJOR police raid on a York travellers’ site in which a £20,000 haul of drugs was found has failed to result in any convictions.

The case against a teenager who was charged after the raid on Clifton Caravan Site in February has been dropped after the Crown Prosecution Service admitted it did not have sufficient evidence.

The raid was the second of two linked operations targeting the site in a week, with 160 officers, specialist drugs teams and sniffer dogs having taken part in the first.

Travellers today called for a new approach to such operations by police, claiming the number of officers involved in two raids carried out in February had been “totally inappropriate” and “over-the-top”, severely damaging a good level of trust which had been built up between local officers and site residents.

John Mitchell, secretary of the York Travellers’ Trust, said: “We would urge the police to liaise closely with the trust and other agencies working with travelling communities.

“In that way, any future operations may be carried out in ways that, while still effective, do not do waste police resources and do not further alienate travellers.”

Police found a large package of heroin and other street drugs, said to be worth more than £20,000 if sold on the streets, during the second raid.

Nathaniel Joseph Smith, who was 17 at the time, of the caravan site, denied possessing with intent to supply to others 291g of heroin, 235 half tablets of ecstasy and 987 tablets of diazepam.

The case was dropped when he made his first appearance before York Crown Court when prosecutor Alan Mitcheson, a senior solicitor advocate for the Crown Prosecution Service, offered no evidence after telling Judge Michael Mettyear: “The only evidence connecting the defendant with the drugs is a single fingerprint found on the outside of the container (where the drugs were found) he had in his possession at some time.” The judge formally acquitted Mr Smith, who left court an innocent man.

The Crown Prosecution Service continually reviews cases proceeding through court to ensure they are in the public interest and have sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction.

A North Yorkshire Police spokesman said today: “We are very disappointed with the outcome but we respect the decision that was made at court.”

Police assured local residents at the time of the raids that all police operations in and around York were undertaken to ensure communities remained safe and secure.