CHILDREN in Basildon are being “preyed on” by drug dealers, with the town said to be in the grip of “a major drugs problem.”

Drugs can be “smelt in the air” in certain hotspots across the town, but police insist they are tackling the issue.

This comes as police chiefs revealed over the last year, there has been a 40 per cent rise in drugs possession and drug selling offences in Basildon.

Basildon Council has formed a new law and order committee in a bid to deal with the issue.


Craig Rimmer, Tory councillor of the Pitsea south east ward, said: “It’s a major problem at the moment.

“Residents can smell it in the air. They’re using the alleyways and parks.

“It’s prevalent unfortunately.”

This follows an Echo story which revealed how drug dealers are exploiting an e-scooter trial in Basildon for illegal activity.

Chief inspector Chris Bradford, chief inspector and district commander for Basildon, said: “Our community policing teams are out every day tackling issues on your doorstep including the sale of drugs.

“In the 12 months to the end of April we have seen a 40 percent increase in drugs possession and drug selling offences.

“These offences are only recorded as a result of positive, proactive work, such as warrants, operations, and stop-and-search, so emphasise our dedication to tackling this issue.

“I would urge anyone who has any information about the sale of drugs to contact us.

“Each report about this kind of activity helps us build up a picture of what is taking place in a particular area.

“This helps us to put an investigation together which means we can bring drug dealers to justice.”

It is hoped the new council committee, alongside a new working group to tackle anti-social behaviour, will help police clamp down on drug activity.

Kerry Smith, councillor of the Nethermayne ward, added: “Our kids are being preyed on by county lines dealers.

“We could have intervened with the youth zone, and taken kids of the street. It’s such a shame.”

Basildon’s Tories have vowed to scrap plans for a youth zone in Basildon town centre.

Anyone with information surrounding drug activity should call 101.