A TOTAL of 47 people have been arrested in a major police operation against organised crime in south Essex.
The arrests were carried out under Operation Erasure which targeted offenders involved in Class A drug dealing, burglary and violent crime.
One man was also arrested near Rayleigh train station on Tuesday afternoon after initially refusing to stop for police.
His car collided with a police car and a 28-year-old female officer was taken to hospital for treatment to a leg injury. The man was arrested on suspicion of possessing a Class A drug with intent to supply and failing to stop for police.
The arrests follow weeks of investigation by detectives and uniformed officers who have gained valuable information from the public about prolific offenders.
The first of the search warrants were executed early yesterday morning, Tuesday July 15 and further arrests were made later in the day.
Det Chief Insp Lynn Goodall said: "We have executed a total of 33 search warrants so far and these have been across the south of the county, mainly to target Class A drug dealing, burglars and criminals involved in crimes of violence.
"We have also recovered a significant quantity of Class A drugs, mainly cocaine, £6,000 cash and associated drug-dealing equipment.
“A great deal of information and evidence was gathered by officers over the past few weeks and we targeted a large number of suspects at the same time to have the biggest impact on drugs dealing and associated crimes.
"We are delighted with the outcome of the operation and we are confident that the arrests will lead to a significant reduction of drug-related crimes in the south of Essex.”
Fifteen of the warrants were in Southend, nine warrants were executed at Westcliff , one was at Corringham, one was at Laindon and seven were in London.
The arrested people were 38 men and nine women aged between 18 and 40. The majority were arrested on suspicion of possessing Class A drugs with intent to supply.
So far 15 people have been charged with possessing Class A drugs with intent to supply and were remanded to appear at Southend Magistrates Court today or tomorrow.
READ SPECIAL REPORT IN TOMORROW'S ECHO.