A RIFLE and two handguns have been seized by police during a crackdown on drugs.

Officers from Colchester’s Community Policing Team and were executing a drugs warrant at an address in Normandy Avenue, Colchester, on Friday when they made the discovery.

A small quantity of cannabis was also found inside the property but no arrests were made.

A picture posted online in the hours after the raid showed officers had also seized a knife during the operation. Officers say some of the weapons are believed to be imitation firearms.

The find came less than 24 hours after a cache of weapons were recovered in the middle of the town centre.

A total of seven items were seized by officers, including a hammer, knife, meat cleaver and scissors.

Mike Lilley, Colchester Council cabinet member for public safety, described the discoveries made by police in recent days as “shocking”.

He said: “It’s scary to see what they have found. You do have to wonder why these people go around with these weapons and who on earth are they using them against.

“I’m afraid it’s a sign of the times though. If you had asked me two years ago about police finding all these weapons then I would have been incredibly shocked.

“But it seems like these days you almost expect them to find these weapons when there are drugs involved.

“The police have an incredibly difficult job but its good news for residents to know these weapons have been taken off the streets.”

Mr Lilley called on the public to continue informing police about possible weapon sightings.

His thoughts were echoed by officers from Colchester, who wrote on the force’s Facebook page: “It is only with the support and help of the whole community that we can reduce knife crime and all serious violence. If you know someone who habitually carries a knife please tell us.”