Chron Comment: January 24

Top marks to Northamptonshire Police for securing the successful conviction of a major crime family responsible for operating one of the biggest drugs factories this county has ever seen.

The scale of the operation was laid bare at Northampton Crown Court where the gang was locked away for more than a decade. And there remains every chance their ill-gotten gains will be confiscated at some stage in the future.

Adam Simmonds, the force’s new Police and Crime Commissioner, has made the eradication of drugs in communities a central aim of his term in office and he - as the general public should be - will be delighted these men have been sentenced. There is still a long way to go and the actual eradication of drugs seems like a big ask. However, we are going in the right direction on this one. And if we continue on this path we will have a world where there are fewer dealers and addicts plaguing our communities and that, ultimately, will be good for us all.

*SNOW continues to blanket the county, but while there was some criticism voiced at the number of schools closed on Monday, they responded brilliantly to open in still difficult conditions on Tuesday. More importantly, it gave sceptics a chance to hear the valid arguments there can be for closing schools in poor weather. Let’s hope we have laid that debate to rest. For good.