Operation Overwatch a success as Essex Police make 17 arrests in five days

Essex Police officers across the Chelmsford and Maldon regions have concluded October’s Operation Overwatch.

Officers made a total of 17 arrests across the district as part of Operation Overwatch – an organised crackdown on crime throughout the district that took place between October 19 and October 24.

The operation saw officers involved in traffic stops, prison searches, community reassurance and surveillance as well as taking drugs and offensive weapons off the streets.

Six arrests were made on the first day of the operation as officers arrested a duo for the alleged theft of a motor vehicle.

Edward George, 37, was arrested and charged on suspicion of theft of a motor vehicle, theft from a shop, handling stolen goods, using a motor vehicle without third party insurance and driving a motor vehicle without a licence.

George appeared at Chelmsford Magistrates a day later and pleaded guilty to all offences, leading to being given 26 weeks imprisonment fo handling stolen goods with eight weeks imprisonment for theft running concurrently. He faces a six-month disqualification for driving without a licence and must pay £115 in victim surcharge.

A 24-year-old woman from Chelmsford, who was also in the car, will face no further action.

Later that day officers and Special Constables attended the Springfield Youth Centre following reports of drug dealing and anti-social behaviour. After a black Ford Fiesta was stopped, the driver abandoned the vehicle and a large amount of cannabis was seized from inside. Enquiries regarding the identity of the driver of the vehicle continue.

Vehicle stops played a large part in Operation Overwatch, with a total of 39 stopped and 13 searched. These often led to charges.

Two men, aged in their 20s, were stopped in a grey BMW just before 11.45am on Tuesday 23 October on Primrose Hill in Chelmsford. The car was seized and Amara Kposowa, 27, was charged with driving whilst disqualified and driving without insurance. He will appear at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court on December 5. Ahmed Adamu was arrested on suspicion of possession of cannabis and later charged. He will appear at Chelmsford Crown Court on January 2 2019.

Officers ended the week, with the assistance of their dog unit, by patrolling the grounds and walls of HMP Chelmsford late on Wednesday night to deter the flow of contraband to and from the prison.

Chief Inspector Gerry Parker, District Commander for Maldon and Chelmsford, said: “Our officers continue to show the people of Chelmsford and Maldon that we are serious about taking organised crime off our streets. Whether it’s tracking cars that may be linked to county lines, to removing offensive weapons from those who may use them to cause harm, or preventing the supply or possession of Class A drugs.

“We know a lot of the people involved in organised crime in this area,” Parker continued. “I want them to know that we won’t stop disrupting their way of life and the illegal ways in which they make their money.

“We are keen to speak to any young people who feel a pressure to join this avoidable life of crime, or feel stuck in it. It’s never too late to get out and our officers can help guide the way and provide the support you need.”

Other notable arrests and charges of October’s Operation Overwatch include:

  • An adult conditional caution was given to a 19-year-old man from Chelmsford after a small amount of white powder, believed to be cocaine, was found during a stop and search on October 19.
  • Two men from Chelmsfod were charged with possession of cannabis on October 21. Christopher Brown, 28, and Nicholas Marriott, 22, will appear at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court on January 8 2019.
  • On October 21, a 17-year-old boy from Chelmsford who cannot be named for legal reasons was charged with burglary following the alleged theft of two bikes from Victoria Road in Chelmsford on October 16. He will appear at Chelmsford Youth Court on November 23.
  • Joseph Lamb, 32, was stopped on Baddow Road on October 23 for allegedly driving under the influence of excess drugs. He was charged and will appear at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court on November 14.

The overall figures for this month’s Operation Overwatch, recorded between October 19 and October 24, are as follows:

  • 17 arrests made with officers making a total of 22 arrest attempts.
  • We identified 36 vehicles of interest through automatic number plate recognition.
  • 39 vehicles were stopped and 13 were searched.
  • 46 people were stopped and 35 were searched.

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