DRUGS worth more than £25,000 have been seized from dealers in the first three months of a police operation in Colchester and Clacton.

Essex Police is cracking down on dealers travelling to the towns from London.

As well as drugs, they have brought an increase in knife crime.

Police have carried out 18 raids since early May, including on Colchester’s East Hill and Springham Drive, and have seized 800 wraps of cocaine and heroin.

They stopped one man in Clacton and found he had 13 wraps of Class A drugs.

Officers also closed a suspected drugs den in Beach Road, Clacton, on July 14.

Det Chief Insp John Ross said: “We have definitely made a dent in the supply of drugs in north Essex.

“These gangs are finding it harder to operate in our towns and they know they are not welcome.

“We know these people are involved in violence such as street robbery and we have seen a significant reduction in this offence over the past six weeks.”

It is understood two recent stabbings in Colchester may have been drugs-related.

A man was repeatedly stabbed in the leg in an alley behind the Cowdray Centre on Thursday, July 17, and a man was stabbed outside the YMCA, in Magdalen Street, on Friday, July 11.

Chief Supt Carl O’Malley, area commander for north Essex, said: “No-one should have to put up with this type of behaviour in their neighbourhoods and I am determined to tackle the problem head on.

“I am not willing to tolerate the culture and behaviour of these people.

“I would urge members of our community to continue to come forward and tell us about what they either know or suspect is happening.

“This information is making this operation more effective; reducing the supply of drugs and the violence it can bring with it.”

Anyone with any information about drug dealing or the gangs involved in north Essex can contact the Operation Saturn team at Braintree police on 101, or alternatively call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

Facts and figures:

- 28 people were arrested and 800 wraps of suspected Class A drugs were also seized

- 18 raids were carrried out

- 13 quantities of cannabis and methadone were seized

- 20 people were bailed after being arrested on suspicion of being involved in drug dealing

- Two people were charged with supply, one with possession of cocaine and one with possession of a controlled drug

- 31 people were stopped and searched in relation to possible drug activity.