By Eric White
WEAPONS and drugs were recovered by Essex Police during a week of action focused on tackling knife crime and serious violence.
According to the Essex Police website, officers across the county carried out patrols, looked for weapons hidden by criminals, and carried out stop checks and stop and searches.
It was part of Operation Sceptre, our ongoing work to identify anyone who is intent on committing violent crime, particularly knife crime.
Forty people were arrested on suspicion of various offences, including 18 arrests for knife, violent or drugs related crimes.
The arrests included:
– Twelve people were charged during an during an operation to dismantle an organised crime group involved in drug dealing. Raids were carried out under the Misuse of Drugs Act in Harlow at addresses in Elizabeth Way, Ash Tree Hill, Little Grove Field, Northbanks, Brocklesmead, Moorfield, Barley Croft, Arkwright, Spring Hills, and Ash Tree Field. The warrants were a culmination of an extensive investigation into the sale of Class A and B drugs in the Harlow area between 2018 and 2020.
– A 14-year-old boy was arrested in connection with a robbery and two attempted robberies in Harlow on March 25. One of the victims was a doctor on their way to work. A second boy, a 14-year-old from Hoddesdon, has since also been arrested in connection with the investigation.
– A man has been charged with drugs offences after officers seized suspected drugs and a large quantity of cash from a house in Ipswich Road, Colchester.
– Suspected drugs, a large amount of cash and a hammer were seized after car was stopped in Lexden Road, Colchester. Three people were arrested on suspicion of drugs offences.
– Officers stopped a Vauxhall Astra on the A12 near Marks Tey and carried out a drugs swipe test on the driver, who tested positive. His passenger was searched and found to have about 50 wraps of suspected class A drugs. A crackpipe was also found in the car. Both men were arrested on suspicion of drugs offences.
– A BMW was stopped in Broxbourne Drive, South Ockendon, and suspected drugs were found inside. The driver, a 24-year-old man from South Ockendon, was arrested on suspicion of possession of drugs with intent to supply.
The week of action took place between Monday 23 March and Sunday 29 March.
Detective Chief Inspector Lewis Basford said: “These results from just one week are a snapshot of the work we do every day to protect our communities and tackle serious violent crime.
“That includes taking weapons off the street, targeting offenders and protecting vulnerable people who are exploited and groomed by criminals.
“But enforcement is only one part of the solution to tackling the issue.
“We work closely with our criminal justice and council partners, other organisations and charities, to help tackle the root causes.
“This includes education, providing opportunities to make positive changes, and supporting those at risk of being exploited.
“It really is a community effort and we all have a part to play.”