Drugs and violent crime crackdown sees police arrest 73 people
- Credit: Archant
A blitz on violent crime and drug dealing has seen more than 70 people arrested in Colchester.
The two-week crackdown on 'county lines' dealing from Essex Police - called Operation Sceptre - saw officers seize £12,800 in cash, £10,000 worth of cannabis, 300 wraps of cocaine and crack cocaine, 100 ecstasy pills and 21 wraps of heroin, as well as two large knives and a knuckle duster knife.
The force said it carried out more than 3,500 extra hours of patrols in the Colchester area between February 10-23, arresting 73 people for allegedly possessing drugs with intent to supply and possession of weapons and knives.
Chief inspector Rob Huddleston said: "Colchester is a safe place to live, work and visit.
"But there are a minority of people who bring drugs into the district or carry weapons, and these often go hand in hand.
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"Those involved in that sort of lifestyle are part of a criminal world where vulnerable people are exploited and live in fear of violence.
"Officers in Colchester work relentlessly to target those who commit crime and protect those they seek to exploit."
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The crackdown was carried out with support from British Transport Police.
Colchester Borough Council and local groups also hosted an event at Greenstead Community Centre to let the public raise concerns with police.
As a result of the work during Operation Sceptre, one man was jailed for six months for failing to appear at court over a charge of possessing a knife in a public place.
James Woodley, 41, of Montgomery Close, Colchester, admitted the offence at Colchester Magistrates' Court on February 20.
Another man was arrested and charged in connection with the kidnap and assault of a man in Colchester on January 8.
Carlos Reich, 24, of Charlton Road, Lower Edmonton is next due to appear at Ipswich Crown Court on March 12.
And Linda Franklin, 38, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty on February 18 at Colchester Magistrates' Court to possessing a knife in a public place.
She will be sentenced after March 17 at Ipswich Crown Court.
Ch Insp Huddleston added: "Our work over the last fortnight is just part of the work they do every day to keep you safe and protect the vulnerable.
"However it is also really important that you tell us about any concerns you have, or any information about offenders, because we will act."