POLICE have arrested two men in connection with burglary, drug and driving offences as part of a new operation.

Across Essex, 31 people were arrested by Essex Police’s Operation Overwatch between July 29 and August 4.

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

Teams carried out patrols in the Dengie and Chelmsford, conducting 58 stop and searches. Officers issued five cannabis warnings and spent 104 hours patrolling areas known for “violent behaviour or drug dealing”.

As part of the operation, a 21-year-old man from Heybridge was arrested after a warrant was executed at a property in the village.

He was bailed until August 22 in relation to being concerned in the supply of a controlled drug.

A 28-year-old man was also stopped in Heybridge and arrested on suspicion of burglary, possession of cannabis, failing to stop for a police officer, driving without a licence, driving without insurance and drug driving.

Chief Insp Gerry Parker, district commander for Chelmsford and Maldon, said the operation was the team’s biggest and most successful so far.

He said: “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 community 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.”

The operation was the fifth of its kind since Mr Parker took up his post in April.

A number of arrests were also made in Chelmsford.