02 Nov Drugs worth £2 million seized since launch of Operation Raptor
Drugs with an estimated street value of more than £2 million have been taken off the streets of Essex since the launch of Operation Raptor.
Over the last two and a half years, Operation Raptor teams have been created around the county to disrupt and dismantle gangs who travel to Essex to deal drugs and cause violence.
Since May 2014, teams in the North, South and West Local Policing Areas have made a total of more than 1300 arrests and seized in excess of £172,000 in cash.
Supt Paul Wells, who is leading on 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 who carry them.
Between May 2014 and September 2016, the team in the North LPA has executed 126 warrants throughout Chelmsford, Braintree, Colchester and Clacton and made more than 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 in excess of £50,000 in cash.
The team has also secured convictions resulting in gang members being sentenced to more than 127 years behind bars.
Since May 2014, the Operation Raptor team has made more than 900 arrests and seized drugs with an estimated street value of in excess of £1,900,000.
Just over 230 warrants have been executed across Southend and Basildon and in excess of £60,000 in cash seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
The team in the West LPA, covering Grays and Harlow, has made more than 90 arrests since it was created in April this year.
In excess of £60,000 has been seized and drugs with an estimated street value of more than £13,000 including cocaine, crack cocaine, heroin, cannabis and ecstasy taken off the streets .
Supt Paul Wells added: “These statistics speak for themselves and I’m pleased that drugs with the potential to cause harm in our communities and the dealers who sell them are being put taken off our streets.
“As well as this enforcement activity, Operation Raptor is about working with partner agencies to offer support to those affected by gang criminality. Drug dealing gangs exploit and prey on the vulnerable in our communities, persuading them to carry drugs on their behalf and taking over their homes as a base from which to deal. They also target young people who are amongst the most vulnerable in our communities. We recognise that and are working to educate young people about the harsh realities of gang life.”
“There is still work to be done and my teams will work tirelessly to keep the streets of Essex safe. However we need your help. Much of our work is intelligence led. If you have information about gang activity where you live, please tell us by calling 101. Anyone who would rather not talk to police can call the independent crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. You won’t have to give your name or go to court to give evidence.”