NEARLY 70 arrests have been made in the last 11 days in areas including Southend and Basildon.

These were for alleged offences including drugs offences, possession of offensive weapons, robbery and theft.

Officers spent an extra 2,300 hours on patrols, carrying out raids and gathering information during an operation to tackle drug dealing in south Essex.

Officers also seized:

  • 308 wraps of heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine seized, as well as cannabis, amphetamine and magic mushrooms.
  • Several large knives, a Samurai sword, stun gun, axe, knuckle duster and pepper spray.
  • £7,700 in cash, which is believed to be linked to drugs supply in Basildon and Southend.

Police also worked with colleagues from British Transport Police to patrol in and around Southend’s train stations to deter and disrupt criminals. 

The activity was part of Operation Sceptre as part of ongoing work to tackle serious violence and knife crime in public places.

Chief Inspector Ian Hughes, Southend district commander, said: “We’ve achieved some great results from the last two weeks, taking a significant amount of drugs and weapons off our streets so they cannot harm anyone.
“It highlights the work we do every day to make Essex a hostile place for criminals who seek to sell drugs and exploit vulnerable people in our communities.
“But information from the public is also really important. If you have any concerns about people dealing drugs or carrying weapons, please tell us or contact Crimestoppers anonymously, as we will act upon the information we receive.”
To report a crime, call 101.

Alternatively, contact the Crimestoppers charity anonymously on 0800 555 111 or use the anonymous online form at