£2m worth of drugs off streets of Essex since launch of police operation

More than £2m worth of drugs have been taken off the county's streets since Essex Police launched Operation Raptor

More than £2m worth of drugs have been taken off the county's streets since Essex Police launched Operation Raptor

Archant

Drugs with an estimated street value of more than £2million have been taken off the county’s streets since police launched an operation targeting gangs travelling to Essex.

In the last two and a half years, teams from Operation Raptor have been created to disrupt and dismantle gangs who travel to the county to deal drugs and cause violence.

Since May 2014, teams in the county have made a total of more than 1,300 arrests and seized in excess of £172,000 in cash.

In the north of the county between May 2014 and September 2016, 126 warrants have been issued throughout Chelmsford, Braintree, Colchester and Clacton along with 320 arrests.

Crack cocaine and heroin with an estimated street value of more than £140,000 have been seized as well as 20 vehicles linked to drug dealing and more than £50,000 in cash.

The team has also secured convictions resulting in gang members being sentenced to more than 127 years behind bars.

Supt Paul Wells, who is leading Operation Raptor, said: “I hope these figures help reassure residents that we are working to bring to justice gang members who think they can travel to Essex to commit their crimes.

“Drug dealing and violence between rival gangs understandably causes high levels of unrest in our communities and we will continue to use a variety of tactics to bring to justice those responsible.”

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