A countywide crackdown, aimed at reducing drug use and violence associated with the night-time economy,has begun across Essex.
Codenamed Operation Lynx, the crackdown will see Essex Police officers and our drugs dogs out in force at weekends patrolling towns and cities across the county.
Using various tactics, including high visibility patrols and officers in plain clothes, the operation will keep people safe, prevent crime and disorder taking place and reassure the community and those working in the night-time economy.
As part of the crackdown police, supported by our local authority partners, will conduct regular visits to licensed premises with licensing and environmental health officers.
Research from across the UK shows that 60 per cent of those arrested for violent crime associated to the night-time economy test positive for cocaine use. Combined use of alcohol and the Class A drug cocaine in particular can lead to a rise in violent offences.
This rise is fuelled in part because cocaine blunts the perception so those using the drug with alcohol are often unaware of how drunk they are. This can lead to excess drinking and in some cases alcohol poisoning.
However because the effects of cocaine wear off quite quickly, most people carry the drug on them to consume during their night out. As part of Operation Lynx officers and drugs dogs will proactively target those bringing the Class A substance into our towns.
Chief Insp Elliott Judge, District Commander for Colchester and the force lead for Operation Lynx said: “Essex is a safe place to live and enjoy yourself. We want to keep it that way, particularly during the run-up to Christmas when our towns and their nightspots are even busier.
“This operation aims to ensure everyone enjoys themselves safely and does not become the victim or the perpetrator of a crime.
“Through Operation Lynx we will deter and disrupt all types of criminal activity, in particular drug-related and violent offences.
“We know people consuming alcohol and cocaine are more likely to be involved in violent crime. We also know that, unlike alcohol, people don’t pre-load with the drug at home and instead take it with them to consume during their night out.
“Our message to those people is if you’re carrying cocaine, we will sniff you out and you will be brought to justice, so make sure you don’t cross the line.”
As part of Operation Lynx the location of our activity and tactics used will continually change to maximise effectiveness and avoid predictability for those intending to commit crime.