Police have carried out a series of dawn raids across Braintree this morning in a bid to crackdown on drug dealing and violent crime.

Eight simultaneous warrants were executed throughout the town at around 7am, with officers targeting properties in Mary Ruck Way in Black Notley, Manor Street and Witham Road South, both in Braintree.

Gazette: Cash was seized at one propertyCash was seized at one property

A search of one property in Mary Ruck Way saw a number of weapons seized, including a large knife and knuckle duster, class A drugs and thousands of pounds worth of cash.

A holdall found inside the property was thought to contain an estimated £50,000.

More than 150 officers have been involved in the operation, which will continue throughout the day and see court and arrest warrants executed throughout the county.


15 arrests have been made so far in connection with the morning raids in Braintree.

Speaking after executing the eight warrants in Braintree, Det Supt Stuart Hooper hailed the operation a success and said it showed Essex Police was taking the fight to county lines drug dealers and violent criminals.

He said: "It's been a very good morning, we've got 15 people in custody so far with a quantity of class A drugs recovered and also a load of weapons that have been taken off the streets.

"This is a continuous fight against drug activity and violence and those that exploit our vulnerable communities."

The crackdown, codenamed Operation Zeal, is also being carried out by policing colleagues in Kent to enable both forces to tackle criminals who cross borders to commit crime.

Chief Constable Ben-Julian Harrington said: “Sadly in Essex we are seeing an increase in the number of violent and knife crime offences and those involved in so-called ‘County Line’ drug dealing gangs.


“Although that is a pattern we are seeing nationally, here in Essex we are not prepared to take that lying down and every day my officers are out there taking the fight to violent to ruthless, violent criminals and those who think they can ply drugs on the streets of my county.

“As the violence and crime levels increase, so does our response.

“During this crackdown we are standing shoulder to shoulder with our policing colleagues in Kent.


“We know these criminals don’t see the boundaries of our two great counties - they see only the opportunity to make money, so they travel between Essex and Kent to ply their trade.

“But our two forces don’t see boundaries either - just one common goal of targeting criminals and bringing them to book.

“We continue to make their life difficult and that’s why we are carrying out Operation Zeal.”