POLICE arrested 37 people, executed six warrants and seized Class A substances, £11,000 in cash and weapons during a week-long crackdown on drug gangs in Essex.

Teams from Essex Police including Operation Raptor, the Serious Crime Directorate, Roads Policing and the Operational Support Group carried out the initiative last week to target people trafficking drugs into Essex and selling them on the streets.

They carried out proactive patrols and used Automated Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology on key routes to target those travelling from elsewhere to commit crime.

The operation was also carried out by the six other forces in the eastern region which was led by the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU) and helped out by the National Crime Agency.

Det Con Insp David Coleman of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate said: “Drug dealers may think they can come to our county to sell their illegal wares on our streets but they are seriously mistaken.

“Every day our officers are out on the streets proactively targeting these individuals and locking them up where they belong.

“We will continue doing that and we will continue to work with our partners in law enforcement in neighbouring forces and beyond to take these criminals off our streets.

ERSOU Det Supt Bernie Morgan said: “We are determined that there will be no place to hide for those who bring harm to our region by exploiting people and pedalling dangerous, illegal substances.

“We’re committed to taking strong action to deal with county drug lines in the eastern region, and this week’s co-ordinated response is a great example of law enforcement and partner agencies working together to tackle serious criminal activity and to protect the vulnerable.

“We will continue to work with our national and partner agencies to ensure that the eastern region’s response to county lines is robust and that we are protecting any vulnerable person from harm.”