ARMED police seized a gun during a dramatic drugs raid in the middle of the night in Southend city centre.

Residents were awoken by the sound of officers shouting as the street was flooded with police officers in the early hours of yesterday morning. 

At least six police cars were spotted in Short Street and residents reported seeing “at least a dozen officers dressed in black” and armed with guns.

During a search of the home, specialist firearms officers seized a firearm inside the home.

Two men, aged 44 and 40, and a woman, 43, were arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of drugs and possession of firearms offence.

One witness, who asked to remain anonymous, spotted a large number of police officers in the street outside his bedroom window.

He said: “I was asleep and got woken up to someone shouting outside. I originally just presumed it was just some drunk.

“But then it continued, and I heard someone shout ‘come to the door with nothing in your hands’.

“I looked outside and there was easily six or seven police cars with at least ten police officers all dressed in black holding guns.

“Then on the other side of the house, there was another nine or ten officers with guns and three police cars.

“I saw them brings people out the house at gunpoint, who were put on the floor, handcuffed, and taken away.

“It went on for a couple of hours.”

The three people arrested currently remain in custody.

The witness added: “It was a complete shock. I know it isn’t the greatest area, but you don’t expect to see that many police with guns.

“It is worrying, and it made me wonder what was going on.”

Det Chief Insp Rachel Jeffery said: “We continue to act on information to tackle drugs in our district. Our officers will remain at the location to carry our investigative enquiries, and this will give the community an opportunity to approach us and tell us what they know about those operating in the area.”