6 people were arrested in Colchester and two in Southend as part of a countywide crackdown to reduce drug use and violence associated with the night-time economy.
As part of Operation Lynx, teams made up of uniformed officers, volunteer special constables, plain clothes officers and a passive drugs dog took to the streets of Southend on Friday night and Colchester on Saturday evening.
In Southend more than 60 people were searched for drugs and two people were arrested on suspicion of possessing drugs.
In Colchester Buster the passive drugs dog and his handler Pc Ian Atkins from Kent Police carried out checks on people walking past on the street, those queuing to get inside venues, people at bus stops and people drinking in outside areas of pubs and clubs.
And in Colchester six people were arrested for offences including possession of Class A and B drugs and possession of a knife.
Chief Inspector Elliott Judge, Colchester District Commander and Essex Police’s force lead for Operation Lynx said: “Our messaging to people ahead of the launch of Operation Lynx was clear – do not cross the line by carrying drugs or committing crime in our night-time economy as we will catch you.
“In both Southend and Colchester various people were stopped on suspicion of possessing drugs and, instead of enjoying their night out with friends, ended up spending their evening in our cells.
“We want people to enjoy themselves safely in the towns of Essex and if people want to commit crime or carry drugs they can be assured we will sniff them out and deal with them robustly.”
Chief Insp Scott Cannon, District Commander for Southend, added: “Essex has a vibrant night-time economy but there are a minority of people who want to commit crime and ruin it for others.
“Through Operation Lynx we will continue to target that minority and ensure they do not spoil the festivities for everyone else.”
Under Operation Lynx Essex Police officers and our drugs dogs will continue to be out in force at weekends using various tactics, including high visibility patrols, officers in plain clothes and cocaine stop checks.
They 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 also conduct regular visits to licensed premises with licensing and environmental health officers.
In Colchester, details of those arrested are:
*A 16-year-old boy from Colchester was given a community resolution after he was found with cannabis.
*A 21-year-old man from Colchester arrested on suspicion of possessing a bladed article and Class B drug has been released on bail until March.
*A 27-year-old man from Ipswich was given a caution for possessing cannabis.
*A 48-year-old man from Colchester was cautioned for possessing a Class A drug.
*A 31-year-old man from Hertfordshire was given a cannabis warning.
*A 22-year-old woman from Surrey was given a cannabis warning.