POLICE have hailed a series of stop-and-search operations outside a Great Harwood nightspot as a huge success.
Officers from all over the division have been drafted into the swoops at Monroes in Wood Street over seven weekends, searching 1,531 people and vehicles and seizing a large quantity of drugs and weapons.
Revellers queuing outside the club, which does not serve alcohol, have been targeted as part of Operation Escort which was laun-ched after complaints from nearby residents.
More than 70 arrests were made for a variety of offences including possession of drugs, possession of offensive weapons and drink-driving.
Police seized drugs including amphetamines, heroin and Ecstasy and weapons including an axe, a hammer, knives and baseball bats.
Officers from the Support Unit and Road Policing Unit, detectives and local police have all been involved in the operation which has included roadside checkpoints and stop-and-search checks.
Of the 1,531 people searched 600 were known to police and 248 of those were either prone to violence or known for carrying weapons. Of the 248, 12 are known to carry firearms.
Crime reduction co-ordinator for Eastern Division, Detective Chief Inspector Neil Smith, said that the operation would continue.
He added: "These operations have obviously proved successful in terms of the numbers of arrests and searches conducted by the officers. Operation Escort will continue until we can ensure the safety of those attending Monroe's Nightclub and we will carry on working in partnership with the owner in order to do this."
DCI Smith would like to encourage the people of Great Harwood to put forward their views on the club and the police operation.
Anyone who would like to comment is asked to contact Inspector O'Reilly at Great Harwood Police Station on 355303.