A RESPECTABLE residential area of Colchester is being blighted by prolific drug pushers, a resident has claimed.

The resident, who wishes to remain anonymous, said she had seen an increase in what she believed to be drug deals in Colchester’s St Mary’s estate.

She said: “There are cars waiting outside residential properties waiting for deals day and night and needles being found outside homes.

“Residents are spotting dealing on bikes and users injecting heroin outside their homes during the day.

“I have seen an increase in both drug dealing and drug taking on our road and there is a cut through which is a hotspot for dealing and taking.

“This is a nice residential area and it is being blighted by someone involved in county lines fuelling the problem.”

County lines is a term for London-based drug dealers moving out of the capital and operating in smaller towns and cities - often utilising the rail network for transport and movement of drugs and money.

Sgt Martin Willsher heads up the Town Proactive Team and said his officers were determined to tackle dealers but urged residents to play their part and report drug deals.

He said: “You may have seen recently there have been a number of dedicated operations in Colchester working towards reducing knife crime and gang related violence, including the possession and supply of drugs.

“Operation Smuggler and Operation Sceptre have seen a number of individuals arrested for drug offences and we continue to gather intelligence and disrupt the criminal network intent on bringing drugs into our communities.

“However, we cannot do it alone. We need the support from the community and are really keen to hear from anything who has concerns or information around drug activity or weapons within Colchester.

“We will continue to carry out increased covert and high visibility patrols in areas identified through our intelligence departments.

“We will target individuals our intelligence suggest are involved in drug activity.

“The bigger the intelligence the picture the better.”

Anyone with information call 101, Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or email colchestercommunitypolicingteam@essex.pnn.police.uk.