Drug dealing gangs have phones intercepted by police

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Essex Police shut down phone lines they said gangs were using for drug dealing - Credit: EMPICS Entertainment

Phone lines allegedly used by drug dealing gangs in Brentwood and Thurrock have been shut down. 

Essex Police secured court orders and worked with telephone network companies to target 11 phone numbers which they said were selling cocaine and cannabis in west Essex.

The Operation Raptor team also sent text messages to potential drug users to offer them help and support. 

Det Sgt Russ Chamberlain explained it was "absolutely vital" to protect those at risk and help people out of crime. 

The officer said: “Mobile phones are vital to dealers and some lines will often make thousands of pounds a day.

“Without them, their drug dealing activity is seriously disrupted and their potential to earn money at the expense of vulnerable people is curtailed.” 

He added: “Drugs gangs exploit and groom drug users and vulnerable people, some of whom may be frightened to get help, or feel there’s no way out.”