A woman connected with a violent drugs gang has been banned from Basildon and Southend for five years.

Ciera Hulatt, 20, linked to the "Knuckles" drug gang, which supplies class A drugs in Southend received a five-year criminal behaviour order she admitted to breaching a community protection notice.

The gang also targets vulnerable individuals, using violence and intimidation to take over their homes to use as a drug dealing base in a practice known as “cuckooing”.

On September 27, he Southend Magistrates' Court heard Hulatt routinely stopped by officers from the Southend Operation Raptor team with suspected drug dealers from the gang or at properties associated with the gang.

She has already been made subject to two other orders, which barred her from entering Southend.

However, Hulatt had been found to breach the notices five times between January 26 this year and July 18.

As well as the banning order, Hulatt of Archibald Street, Bow, East London was ordered to pay £85 costs, a £40 fine and a £30 victim surcharge.

Chief Supt Paul Wells, who leads Essex Police's Operation Raptor teams, said: “We have routinely found Hulatt in the company of members of the ‘Knuckles’ gang.

“This gang not only attempt to supply Class A drugs on the streets of Southend but they also ruthlessly target vulnerable adults, using violence and intimidation, to take over their homes.

“Whilst we will hunt down those selling drugs on our street we will also target those people on the fringes of gangs, such as Hulatt, who support this illicit business.

“We will do whatever it takes to put these gangs out of business and behind bars and people who work for them can also expect a knock on the door from Operation Raptor.”

If you have information about drug dealing or gang-related crime in your area contact Essex Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.