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Eleven phone numbers used by drug dealing gangs in Essex shut down

Essex Police secured the orders at Clerkenwell and Shoreditch County Court (credit: Google Maps)

Eleven phone numbers used by drug dealing gangs in Brentwood and Thurrock have been shut down.

Essex Police applied for the orders after phone numbers offering cocaine and cannabis for sale in the areas were identified during a police operation.

The operation, named ‘Operation Raptor’, is aimed at dismantling drug gangs.

Police successfully secured Drug Dealing telecommunications restriction orders at Clerkenwell and Shoreditch County Court on Friday, 14 May.

DS Russ Chamberlain said: “This is the first time Essex Police has applied for multiple phone lines to be closed down at the same time.

“The legislation is just one of the tactics we use to disrupt and dismantle drugs supply networks.

“Mobile phones are a vital to dealers and some lines will often make thousands of pounds a day.

“Without them, their drug dealing activity is seriously disrupted and their potential to earn money at the expense of vulnerable people is curtailed.”

Text messages also started being sent in March to potential drug users who’ve been identified, offering them help and support.

“Drugs gangs exploit and groom drug users and vulnerable people, some of whom may be frightened to get help, or feel there’s no way out,” said Chamberlain.

“Helping people to get out of this lifestyle and protecting those at risk of being used by gangs is absolutely vital, and we’re working closely with organisations including Open Road to offer them support to break free.”

For more on this story, and the latest on our other local and national news, listen to Time 107.5FM

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