Dawn raids target Essex drug dealers

MORE than 100 police officers carried out a series of dawn raids targeting drug dealers and users in Essex yesterday.

James Hore

MORE than 100 police officers carried out a series of dawn raids targeting drug dealers and users in Essex yesterday.

The operation saw 21 properties hit in the Braintree and Bocking areas with the first series of arrests just after 5am followed by a second wave at 9am.

Officers were backed up by the force's dog unit and hydraulic rams were used to force some doors open.

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A total of 30 people were arrested for various drugs-related offences and Class A and Class C drugs along with cash were recovered from homes.

The addresses targeted at 5am were at Bennetts Close, Hillside Gardens, Bailey Bridge Road, Coldnailhurst Avenue, two properties in Beach Avenue, Spalding Close, Mullins Road, Beadon Drive and Malborough Road.

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Braintree Chief Inspector Alan Gooden said yesterday: “We have been aware through intelligence for some time of drugs-related issues in the Bocking area.

“We have undertaken careful intelligence and evidence gathering work which has resulted in today's operation.

“This sends out a clear message to suppliers and users of illegal substances that the police in Braintree will not tolerate such behaviour and will take all steps to identify and secure evidence to prosecute those involved.

“We want to reassure the public that this will not be the end of our engagement with people who live in or visit the Braintree area and who wish to partake in illegal drug activity and we would welcome any information from the public that might assist us in any further endeavours.”

Anyone with information can contact the neighbourhood policing sergeant Peter Page or neighbourhood specialist officer Pc Andrea Ford at Braintree Police Station on 0300 333 4444.

They can also contact officers via the neighbourhood police team mobile phone on 07970 201082 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Residents can also engage with officers at local “beat surgeries” and neighbourhood action panels, details of which can be found at website at www.essex.police.uk

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