Officers across Chelmsford and Maldon arrested more than 30 people in their most successful Operation Overwatch yet.

The operation, aimed at disrupting organised crime groups, drug supply and violent crime in the area, was the fifth since Chief Inspector Gerry Parker took post last April and the second of its kind this summer.

In total 31 arrests were made between Monday July 29 and Sunday August 4.

Teams across the county also conducted 58 stop and search checks, issued five cannabis warnings and spent 104 hours patrolling known hotspots for violent behaviour and drug dealing, including Meadgate, Chelmer Village, Moulsham and the Dengie in Maldon.

Ch Insp Gerry Parker, District Commander for Chelmsford and Maldon said: “This has been our biggest Operation Overwatch yet, and I’m incredibly proud of the dedication of our teams over the course of the week.

"They’ve worked on intelligence that’s been gathered across the district to stop avenues of drug supply and take weapons off of the streets.

“We couldn’t do Overwatch without the people of Chelmsford calling in or reporting information online every time they see something criminal.

"Whether it’s a drug deal outside your house, or seeing someone you know carries a knife walking around with it – it’s crucial that you reach out to us.

“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – organised crime doesn’t belong in my district.

"We will find you, we will disrupt your movements, and we will bring you to justice so that you can’t take advantage of vulnerable people in our communities.”

Operation Overwatch has been funded by Op Sceptre Essex, which is a targeted crackdown on knife crime, and has been extended thanks to Home Office funding.

Every day, the force says their officers carry out prevention, enforcement and education work, with the support of other organisations, to tackle crime and safeguard vulnerable people.

Op Sceptre work includes prevention and enforcement in areas identified as being hotspots for violent crime.

Police are also targeting people who are known to carry knives and acting on information from the community to identify offenders.

If you know someone who is carrying a knife, call 101 or report online at

Alternatively, contact the Crimestoppers charity 100% anonymously on 0800 555 111 or use the anonymous online form at

Always call 999 in an emergency.