THE LANDLADY of a pub raided by 60 police officers has demanded an apology after the officers left empty handed and brought no charges.

Julie Hanson, who runs the Farthings, Roe Lee, Blackburn, said the reputation of her business had been ‘ruined’ following the raid on Friday.

But police said they had ‘done the right thing’ – and they were backed by the pub landlords' group the Licensed Victuallers' Association.

Miss Hanson, who has been running the pub in Rosewood Avenue for less than four weeks, was behind the bar serving when around 60 officers dressed in full riot gear burst into the pub, about 7.30pm.

The police did not find any drugs and those arrested have now been released without charge.

Miss Hanson, 44, said: “It was totally over the top. After they searched all the customers and got them out of the pub they turned this place upside down and went through it with a fine toothcomb.

It was terrible.

“It was a complete waste of time. We definitely deserve an apology after being treated like criminals.

"The raid has ruined our reputation because everyone is talking about us and they think we’re drug dealers which is totally untrue.”

The pub was closed down for the night and reopened on Saturday afternoon.

The raid follows other high profile operations in Blackburn designed to target the drugs trade.

In October, 40 police officers descended on the Brownhill Arms, Whalley New Road, and made eight arrests.

A police spokesperson, defended the latest raid: “We had information to suggest that drugs were being dealt in the pub and we have had a positive reaction from the local community about the action we took.

“We believe we did the right thing and we will continue to take such action.”

Geoff Sutcliffe, chairman of the Licensed Victuallers Association, said: “We back any action taken by the police which is trying to stamp out drug dealing.”