Essex Police claim they are driving drug gangs out

Crime / Tue 27th Apr 2021 at 09:23am

IN just three months, police officers have arrested 170 people in 68 raids, more than half (91) of whom were charged and put before the courts the next day.

A spokesperson said:

“We set up our Serious Violence Unit last summer to dismantle and disrupt county drug lines and gangs and target knife offenders in our county. 

“And officers are working hard to do this but they cannot do it without your help, providing us with vital information about drugs and the people who deal them.

Between January and March, we dismantled 19 county drugs lines, arresting and charging suspects and taking away phones used to run the lines. As well as putting 91 suspects before the courts immediately, others were released under investigation and our inquiries continue.

And we’ve safeguarded 19 people – vulnerable adults and children who are exploited by gangs, perhaps because they have a drugs habit, abuse alcohol, have mental health problems or are young and can be intimidated easily. 

We’ve put them in touch with agencies which can help them break free from their association with gangs. 
[LINK to https://www.essex.police.uk/police-forces/essex-police/areas/essex-police/campaigns/campaigns/2020/tackling-serious-violence/helping-drug-users ]

Children are often trafficked / used by gangs to carry drugs and the homes of older, vulnerable adults can be ‘cuckooed’, or taken over, by gangs selling drugs. Often the victims don’t realise they are being exploited as they have been groomed and manipulated.

During the same period, we’ve also seized £87,100 in cash under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA), which allows us to confiscate or recover through civil court action money believed to be from the proceeds of crime.

“And, in the past 12 months, there have been 280 fewer victims of street robberies and non-domestic assaults where people have suffered serious injuries”.

Head of our Serious Violence Unit Detective Superintendent Scott Cannon added: “Although the social restrictions we’ve all experienced in the past year because of the pandemic meant fewer people moving about outside, county lines drugs continued to operate.

“But we’ve continued to tackle them by executing warrants, often using information given to us by members of the public, and this has resulted in a large number of arrests and a corresponding reduction in violence associated with drugs use.

“We’ve invested heavily in our capacity to target serious crime, drugs and violence and to safeguard vulnerable people who get involved in such criminality and this is paying off. 

“But we can’t do it alone. If you suspect someone is involved in drugs and drug-dealing or is vulnerable and being preyed on by a gang, we want to know about it. You can ring 999 if it’s an emergency, otherwise report it online at www.essex.police.uk or ring us on 101.”

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