Heroin, cannabis and cocaine were seized by police in a series of dawn raids in Watford on Wednesday morning.

Officers smashed down the doors of three homes to find stashes of drugs, cash and a hunter's knife that was near children's toys.

Warrants were executed at the houses, in Octavia Court, Littlebury Court and Charlock Way, by more than a dozen officers at around 7.15am.

Police, who searched a home with sniffer dogs in Littlebury Court, found bags of cannabis in the living room and hidden in white goods.

Sergeant Mason, who was at the scene when they carried out the raid, said: "Upon entering, we found some cannabis in the living room along with electronic scales under the sofa and cash under the rug.

"Cannabis was also found in a creatine tub, which was in the washing machine."

In another raid at a family home in Charlock Way, officers found a ‘white powder’ substance suspected to be a class A drug, heroin, and a hunter's knife, which was found within a child's reach. Police have notified social services after the findings.

When police first charged into the property in Octavia Court, it was empty - but a man arrived shortly afterwards telling officers he had "gone out to the shops to get some tobacco".

Following a search, officers found two syringes, one in the kitchen and another one filled with suspected heroin "ready to use" in the bedroom.

Nick Lillitou, Safer Neighbourhood Inspector, who was at the raid, said: "We have found a needle and some heroin and the man will be arrested and taken to the station so we can question him about what’s been happening at his home."

He added: "It’s about sending a message to those involved in drug-related activity - that we’ll take action where we suspect it’s happening.

"And it’s also to reassure people that we are doing something about it. We all know what’s going on out there.

"Whilst we are able to identify people, residents have a real role to play too. If they suspect drug-related activity is taking place, they should let us know so we can look into it and take action where necessary."

As a result of the raids, a 28-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of possession of cannabis with intent to supply. He has been released on police bail until April 8.

Another 25-year-old man from Watford was arrested on suspicion of supply of a controlled class B drug - he was also released on police bail until April 8.

A 29-year-old woman was arrested too on suspicion of possession of a controlled class B drug with intent to supply, possession of a class A drug, possession of a class B drug and wilful neglect of a child. She was released on police bail until May 16.

A fourth person, a 49-year-old man, attended Watford Police Station for questioning on Thursday morning. He was given a caution for possession of a class A drug.

Anyone with information about drug dealing or other related activity is asked to contact police on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.