Brentwood, Romford and Dagenham raids: 16 arrested as police seize imitation firearms and drugs
PUBLISHED: 11:29 12 June 2019 | UPDATED: 09:19 13 June 2019
Police arrested 16 people following a series of dawn raids aimed at targeting cocaine dealers in Brentwood, Romford and Dagenham this morning.
In the early hours of Wednesday, June 12, police officers began an operation which targeted a network of suspected cocaine dealers who are believed to supply Class A drugs to recreational users across Brentwood.
Acting on information from the community, Essex Police launched an investigation in February targeting dealers supplying Class A drugs to people in bars and pubs across the town centre at weekends.
The investigation culminated today with the execution of more than 20 warrants across Brentwood, Dagenham and Romford.
So far the police have arrested 16 people on suspicion of offences ranging from possession of drugs to possession with intent to supply and being concerned in the supply of drugs.
Imitation firearms, knives, weapons, cash and drugs were seized from the properties.
Ch Insp Lewis Basford, district commander for Brentwood, said: "We are continuing to take our fight to the people who think they can sell drugs on the streets of our county.
"People may think that taking cocaine on their night out on a Friday or Saturday doesn't harm anyone but they are wrong.
"There is a human cost to every single drug sold illegally.
"Someone, whether that is a child or vulnerable person, will have been exploited to get that drug from the person at the top of the drug dealing chain to the individual buying that on the street.
"It may be that a child is trafficked into transporting those drug packages for a dealer, or it may be that someone with a drug habit is exploited into selling cocaine and is subjected to violence unless they comply."
The investigation was supported by Brentwood Borough Council who also provided additional resources to support the policing operation.
At one address in Rollason Way, Brentwood, eight people were arrested for a variety of drug offences.
Officers discovered a large outdoor shed believed to be a makeshit cannabis cultivation set-up.
Ch Insp Brasford added: "Every single wrap of cocaine will be at the cost of someone's blood or tears and we would ask people to think about that the next time they think about taking it for a laugh or a good night out.
"As this operation shows, however long it takes we will target those who think they can sell drugs on the streets of our communities.
"I would like to reassure the residents of Brentwood that where we receive information that criminals, gangs or drug dealers are active in their area we will, as today shows, act on that.
"I would also like to send a clear message to drug dealers and criminals that they are not welcome on the streets of Brentwood or Essex."
If you have information about drug-related crime call Essex Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.