RESIDENTS should not fear for their safety as violent crimes are linked to gangs and drug dealing, according to Basildon’s police chief.

Chief Insp Sam Smith, district commander for Basildon, spoke out after a gang of men - one wielding a 12ins knife - stormed into a home.

Police believe that the gang of five men targeted the home in Voysey Gardens, Pitsea, specifically. The incident is believed to involve drug dealing.

Ch Insp Sam Smith, district commander for Basildon, urged members of the public not to fear repercussions - insisting the gang are not randomly targeting addresses in the town.

She said that offences of this nature are normally linked to other types of crime.

She said: “It is very rare for us to get an aggravated burglary in Basildon which is not linked to any other crimes.

“When there is a random burglary and burglars are confronted, they usually run off.

“It is not a likely occurrence that people storm into houses with a weapon for no reason, there is usually a background to it.

“I would ask residents to report any suspicious activity in their neighbourhoods for police to respond to as soon as possible.”

Emergency response officers were called at about 8.20am on Sunday after multiple residents dialled 999 when they saw a disturbance in the street.

Inside the address, they found three men, cash worth up to £3,000, a large bag of cannabis and several mobile phones. Officers further uncovered blood and a large knife.

A 23-year-old man from Lewisham, a 17-year-old boy from Bromley and a 22-year-old man from Clerkenwell were arrested on suspicion of possession of drugs with intent to supply. They have been released on bail.

Two men arrested nearby on suspicion of grievous bodily harm and aggravated burglary were released without charge.