POLICE have seized more than 300 wraps of cocaine and heroin, 100 ecstasy pills and more than £10,000 worth of cannabis during a drug dealing and violent crime operation.

During the last fortnight, officers in Colchester have also taken £12,800 in cash, two large knives, a knuckle duster and a noxious substances from suspected criminals.

There were 3,500 hours of extra patrols during the two week period which was done as part of Operation Sceptre.

More than 70 people were arrested.

Stop and search powers were used where people were suspected of carrying drugs or weapons.

Colchester officers worked with British Transport Police to patrol train stations and used a knife arch to scan people coming into the town.

There were also traffic operations and a community event in Greenstead where police offered advice to people about any issues they had and pointed them towards partners if they could not help.

District commander, Chief Insp Rob Huddleston praised his team for their efforts.

He said: “Colchester is a safe place to live, work and visit.

“But there are a minority of people who bring drugs into the district or carry weapons, and these often go hand in hand.

“Those involved in that sort of lifestyle are part of a criminal world where vulnerable people are exploited and live in fear of violence.

“Your officers in Colchester work relentlessly to target those who commit crime and protect those they seek to exploit.

“Our work over the last fortnight is just part of the work they do every day to keep you safe and protect the vulnerable.

“However it is also really important that you tell us about any concerns you have, or any information about offenders, because we will act.”

Anyone with concerns about crime should call Essex Police on 101 if it is not an immediate emergency.

Details can also be given to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or use the anonymous online form at crimestoppers-uk.org