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UNDERCOVER police officers are being deployed in Wickford town centre as part of an investigation into ‘drugs activity’.
Essex Police is sending officers in plain clothes to patrol the area, while colleagues gather evidence and carry out stop-and-searches.
The operation has been spearheaded by the new town centre team, which was set up in summer with a remit of tackling any persistent problems in the area.
Police said they had carried out a number of arrests as part of the operation, but none had yet resulted in any charges.
On November 15, officers executed a warrant at an address in market Avenue, where a man and woman, aged 33 and 32, were arrested on suspicion of possessing drugs with intent to supply.
Both have been released but remain under investigation.
A 25-year-old-man was arrested the following day, on suspicion of possession with intent to supply, after his car was stopped-and-searched in Mount Road.
In a statement, police said they had recovered ‘a large quantity of cannabis’ from the vehicle.
That man has also been released while still under investigation.
On Halloween, a 16-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of drugs, after he was found carrying £810 and two mobile phones.
He too was released but remains under investigation.
Earlier that month, on October 13, an 18-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of possessing drugs with intent to supply after officers stopped-and-searched him in the High Street and found what they believed was cannabis.
They then searched his home where ‘more deal bags were found’.
That man was once again released but remains under investigation.