Fourteen people were arrested and 10 weapons seized during a week of action to tackle knife crime across the county.
Between Monday, October 17 and Saturday, October 22, 2016, officers from across the force targeted offenders connected with knife crime as part of Operation Sceptre, a national campaign led by the Metropolitan Police aimed at those who carry and use knives.
Officers and Special Constables from local policing teams, the Operational Support Group and Operation Raptor teams executed warrants, carried out roadside checks and high-visibility patrols and used intelligence-led stop and search powers where appropriate.
Throughout the week of action, knife amnesty bins remained in place outside Braintree, Chelmsford and Colchester police stations and in Jackson Road, Clacton and Chalvedon Square, Pitsea.
The countywide week of action was part of the ongoing work by Essex Police and its partners including councils, knife awareness charity Only Cowards Carry and HM Revenue and Customs, to tackle knife crime and associated gang activity.
Supt Andrew Mariner said: “Knife crime can have devastating consequences and we remain committed to doing everything in our power to put offenders before the courts and take as many knives and weapons off our streets as possible.
“This week of activity was part of our ongoing drive to disrupt criminal gangs and send out a very clear message that we will not tolerate their culture and behaviour.
“However I also want to reassure residents that while it is a concern to us, such offences are not rife here in Essex and our county remains a very safe place.
“We know that some groups will be at greater risk, such as victims of domestic abuse, those who are vulnerable due to substance abuse and criminals who are involved in the supply of drugs and other organised crime.
“That`s why these areas are among our top priorities and we are absolutely committed to working hard to tackle domestic abuse and the issues around drugs and organised crime.
“One life lost is one too many and with the action we are taking with our partners â€“ and vital information from the public – we can drive down knife crime.â€
Anyone with information about knife crime is urged to call Essex Police on 101. Anyone who would rather not speak to police can call independent crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
North LPA (Chelmsford, Braintree, Colchester and Clacton)
In Braintree, officers led a traffic operation aimed at suspects carrying weapons on Saturday, October 22, 2016. No knives were seized but a 47-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of drink driving after officers stopped the vehicle in which he was travelling in Cressing Road, Braintree. Ajab Soor of Bradford Street, Braintree was later charged with drink driving and is due to appear at Colchester Magistratesâ€™ Court on November 7, 2016.
Officers also seized a vehicle during the operation because the driver didnâ€™t have appropriate insurance.
In Colchester, officers from the Community Policing Team made six visits throughout the week to teenagers and adults believed to be linked to carrying knives. No knives were seized but those visited were educated about the possible consequences of their actions.
In Clacton, officers from the Community Policing Team visited 18 shops on Tuesday, October 18 and Wednesday, October 19, 2016 to educate shop workers around the legal sales of knives and highlight the importance of challenging potentially underage customers.
The team also stopped and searched 10 people in Clacton throughout the week.
Three knives and two batons were seized when officers from Operation Raptor executed a warrant at an address in Jackson Road, Clacton just after 11am on Thursday, October 20, 2016. Three people were arrested. A 27-year-old man from Clacton was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply class A drugs. He has been released on bail pending further enquiries until January 10, 2017. Two men were arrested nearby. A 35-year-old man from Clacton and a 20-year-old man from Ipswich were arrested in Alton Park Road, Clacton. Both were arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply class A drugs and have been released on bail pending further investigation until January 17, 2016.
West LPA (Thurrock and Epping)
In Loughton, a machete (photo attached) was recovered when officers from Operation Raptor executed a warrant at an address in Highwood Lane at 11.50am on Monday, October 17, 2016 in connection with a suspected dangerous dog. A 52-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of having a dog dangerously out of control in a public place and has been released on bail pending further investigation until November 14, 2016.
A knife was seized during the execution of a warrant at an address in Loughton on Thursday, October 20, 2016. The warrant was executed by officers from Operation Raptor following concerns around the vulnerability and possible â€˜cuckooingâ€™ of the resident. No arrests were made but enquiries were made around the residentâ€™s well-being
In Harlow, officers from Operation Raptor and the Casualty Reduction Unit carried out an ANPR operation on Tuesday, October 18, 2016 aimed at detecting offenders using the roads. A 17-year-old boy from Harlow was arrested on suspicion of burglary at Stile Croft. He has been released on bail pending further enquiries until November 21.
In Grays, on Wednesday, October 19, 2016, officers from the Community Policing Team and Operation Raptor worked with colleagues from the British Transport Police to run an operation at the train station in response to community concerns around knife and gang crime. Sixteen people were searched and three people arrested. Those arrested were a 22-year-old woman from Ilford, a 17-year-old girl from South Ockendon, and a 20-year-old man from Grays on suspicion of theft. All have been released on bail pending further investigation until November 15, 2016.
In Nazeing, two men were arrested on suspicion of drugs offences after officers stopped the car in which they were travelling on Old Nazeing Road on Friday, October 21. The car was searched and suspected cannabis and cash seized. A 20-year-old man from Broxbourne was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply drugs other than class A and assaulting a police officer. A 21-year-old man from Nazeing was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply drugs other than class A. Both have been released pending further investigation until December 22, 2016.
In Basildon, officers from the Local Policing Team seized three weapons during evening patrols. A 27-year-old man from Basildon was arrested in Upper Mayne at 9.15pm on October 15, 2016. Nathan Mills of Dengayne was later charged with possession of an article with a blade and criminal damage and released on bail to appear at Basildon Magistratesâ€™ Court on the morning of November 15, 2016.
A 16-year-old boy from Basildon was arrested on London Road, Pitsea at 3.15am on October 16, 2016 following reports that a man had been seen with a weapon. The boy was arrested on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon and possession of an imitation firearm and has been released on bail pending further investigation until November 21, 2016. A knife was also seized.
A 19-year-old man from London was arrested at Luncies Road, Basildon at 11.40pm on October 15, 2016 on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon. A knife was seized and the man was released on bail pending further investigation until January 8, 2016.
During the rest of the week officers from the Community Policing Team carried out test purchasing operations with Trading Standards to highlight sales of knives to underage customers.
High-visibility patrols were also carried out in Southend and Basildon town centres.