TENDRING’S top cop has told residents there will be more ‘stop-and-searches’ carried out in the district as part of efforts to clampdown on drugs and weapons.

The use of stop and search powers have been controversial in some parts of the country, but police claim the tactic is overwhelmingly supported by residents in Tendring.

District commander Det Chief Insp Paul Wells said increasing the number of searches will help in the fight against drug dealers and gangs.

He said: “In Tendring there is a consistent level of drug-related crime and offences involving the use of weapons.

“Because of this, you can expect to see a significant increase in the numbers of people being spoken to by police, out and about.

“You will also see an increase in our use of stop and search powers and the numbers of vehicles stopped on roads.

“All of this is designed to meet more people, prevent and detect crime and ultimately, protect the public.

“We police by consent and part of what we consent to is a level of scrutiny – more so when we are moving about in public.

“If you have an interaction with one of my officers, I expect them to be courteous, professional and really clear about what they are doing and why.”

Mr Wells called on residents to help the police clamp down on crime.

He added: “Please help us to keep you safe by sharing information with us, in particular about drugs, crime and hidden harm, like slavery, domestic abuse or child exploitation.

“Recorded crime has increased nationally and the same is true in Tendring. Policing has always been challenging and this is as true now as ever.

“But we love what we do.

“We enjoy the support of the majority of the public and we thrive on the information people give us.“

Mr Wells said local officers have been doing “excellent work” in tackling crime, including helping to take down the Jay Boys gang.

Seven members of the London-based gang, which sold Class A drugs, were jailed for a combined total of 40 years in December.

Mr Wells added: “Where issues of anti-social behaviour, repeat offending or vulnerability are identified, the various partners have had some great results.

“These have included protecting kids, evicting repeat offenders, seizing hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of illegal drugs and providing the public with a visible presence.”