A CAMPAIGN to crack down on drugs, violence and crime connected to nightlife has been launched ahead of the festive season.

Throughout December uniformed and plain clothes officers will be out with drugs dogs at popular nightspots across the country to try and ensure towns and cities across the county are kept safe.

Officers will be working with licensed premises and making regular visits to bars, nightclubs, pubs and restaurants alongside licensing and environmental health officers.

According to latest figures, 60 per cent of people arrested for violent offences while out on the town test positive for cocaine, and mixing the drug with alcohol can lead to a spike in violence.

Cocaine blunts people's perceptions meaning people are often unaware of how drunk they are.

Users often bring more of the Class A drug with them to top themselves up during the night and the Don't Cross the Line campaign aims to target those bringing cocaine into Colchester and other towns.

Chief Insp Shaun Kane, Colchester's district commander, is the Essex Police lead for the campaign.

He said: "Crime and disorder associated with nightlife is a challenge faced by police forces and communities up and down the country and Essex is no exception.

“Policing night-time socialising has always been and remains a priority for Essex Police.

"However through our Don’t Cross the Line campaign we will be using additional resources and a variety of tactics to ensure that people continue to enjoy themselves in our county safely.

“And for the minority who insist on committing crime in our county, they can be assured that we will deal with them robustly.”