Essex

Drugs raids in Southend and east London result in 35 arrests

Police have arrested 35 people in a series of drugs raids on houses in Essex.

Twenty properties in Southend and east London were searched as part of a six-month operation to combat the supply of cocaine and heroin in the town.

Essex Police said men and women, aged between 16 and 49, had been arrested on various drugs related offences.

Det Ch Insp Stuart Hooper said various substances had been recovered by officers.

'Scourge on society'

The raids were the second phase of Operation Okra, which began last October to crack down on the supply of cocaine and heroin in the Southend area.

They followed a covert operation conducted by the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate.

Mr Hooper said: "There is still some way to go before the conclusion of Operation Okra.

"It's limited to certain parts of Southend, but we've reacted to community intelligence and mounted this operation to make people feel safer in their homes.

"These criminals are a scourge on society and need to be taken out circulation."

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