A DRUGS crackdown across the county has seen drugs, weapons and cash seized with dozens of people arrested in Basildon and Southend.

Essex Police launched Operation Zeal on Tuesday in a bid to target ruthless and violent criminals responsible for causing the most harm in the community.

Properties in York Road and Wesley Road, in Southend, and properties in Wayletts, Bourne Close and Trafford House in Basildon were targeted both last night and early this morning.

This coincided with warrants executed in the north of the county and in total, 43 people have been arrested on suspicion of various offences including being concerned in the supply of drugs and conspiracy to supply drugs.

Approximately £75,000 in cash, thousands of pounds worth of Class A and B drugs and various weapons have also been seized and taken off the streets.

Det Supt Stuart Hooper of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate added: “We will continue to take the fight to criminals intent on causing harm in our communities.

“Operation Zeal has been a huge success so far with really harmful drugs and weapons removed from our streets and a number of people linked to this type of criminality arrested and in our custody.

“Every knife carried and used and every wrap of drugs sold is potentially a life or lives torn apart.

“Working alongside our Kent colleagues we will share our intelligence to deny the criminals use of our roads, bash down their doors with a series of warrants, arrest people involved in the most harmful types of criminality and safeguard the vulnerable.

“We are sending a clear message to not just the criminals within our counties but most importantly to our residents too - we will stand together to keep Essex and Kent safe.

“But we will not stop at this two days of action.

"Every day our officers are out there on your streets, protecting you, our community, and arresting those who think they can ply their illegal trade, carry knives and harm others in our county – they can’t.

“Essex Police will continue to hunt down those criminals and put them behind bars where they belong.”

If you have information about crime in your community contact Essex Police on 101.
You can also contact independent crimefighting charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org/give-information