Twenty people have been arrested and police seized crack cocaine and heroin worth £250,000 in a raid.

Officers also seized £60,000 in cash during the raid this morning in Westcliff.

The dawn raids were carried out by specialist officers from Op Raptor South team, Essex Police Operational Support Group and the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit, with support from the National County Line Coordination Centre.

Each of the 20 people who were arrested remain in custody for questioning.


Police say today's raids are part of a sophisticated and complex operation which has focused on the supply of drugs in south Essex over the last nine months.

As part of that operation – prior to today – officers had seized: 1112g cocaine, 320g crack cocaine, 229g heroi,n 9255g cannabis, 256 electrical devices.

Enforcement taken against 87 drug lines, 11 drug dealing, telephone telecommunication restriction orders issued, £195,012.11 in cash, 33 weapons, including knives, machetes, swords, imitation firearms and baseball bats and more than £286,000 worth of drugs were seized. 


Senior Investigating Officer Scott Fitzmaurice, of Op Raptor South, said: “We make no apology for our uncompromising approach to tackling drugs and drug dealers in our county.

“We have spent the last year focusing on the people who we believe present the highest risk and harm to our communities – that means targeting the County Line holders and, from the sentences we are now seeing, we know that was the right thing to do.

“But we never lost sight of the people who we believe were delivering the goods to vulnerable people on our streets and in our communities and we have arrested 20 people this morning as part of this investigation.


“Let this be a warning to anyone intent on selling drugs in our county that dealing in Essex simply does not pay.

“I would continue to encourage the public to give us information on drug dealing – number plates of cars, CCTV images, names or any information you have or see. You may not see immediate police activity, but we are constantly working in the background to build secure criminal cases in order to bring people to court.”