POLICE raids against suspected drug dealers in Basildon are ‘saving kids from a life of crime’, a councillor has said.

Cllr Kerry Smith’s comments came in the wake of an operation which saw Essex Police seized 2.5kgs of suspected Class A Drugs and make four arrests.

Officers from Essex Polices Operation Raptor drugs unit, supported by dog units and the National County Lines Coordination Centre, executed the warrants in Basildon at 6.30am on Tuesday, October 12.

“It’s a massive amount of drugs to get off the streets and it’s always a good thing for the town when police seize drugs,” said independent councillor Kerry Smith.

“But the police can always do more, to protect the town,” he continued. “It’s a black market that’s pulling in so many young people and every time they do these raids it’s effectively saving more young people from a life of crime in county lines gangs.

“County line gangs are bad in Basildon, but they are prevalent everywhere. These raids will make a dent on the drug trade here, and I always welcome these police actions, but it’s only a dent and just one step to getting it all off the streets.”

The warrants, part of a second co-ordinated strike against suspected drug supply in south Essex in the last week, saw officers raid four addresses in Swanstead, Timberlog Lane and Little Lullaway.

In total four have people have been arrested on suspicion of drug offences and police have seized 2.5kgs of suspected Class A drugs, weapons and cash.

Detective Inspector Scott Fitzmaurice, of the Operation Raptor South team, said: “This is our second co-ordinated strike on drug supply in south Essex in a week, which I hope shows our residents that our commitment to tackling drug dealing in our communities is unwavering.

“We have teams of specialist officers who are responsible for identifying people who we believe are involved in supplying drugs and building cases against them.

“Doing that professionally can take time and I would always say to our communities, please continue to report issues. Although you may not see police activity straight away, we are there – even if you cannot see us.

“As we have consistently said, we take an uncompromising approach to drugs and drug dealing in our county. Neither is welcome and my message today is the same as last week – the actions of our Op Raptor teams are making a difference. They are making your streets and communities safer.”