Eighteen arrests have been made after a police operation targeting criminal activity at the Dartford River Crossing.

The joint operation between Kent and Essex police forces saw cocaine, cannabis and steroids, hauls of cash and numerous weapons including firearms and a knuckle duster seized from cars and properties in Dartford and Gravesend.

On Wednesday, March 3, officers from both the police forces, supported by Met Police, patrolled the Dartford Crossing "the aim of disrupting people carrying out criminal activity and regularly moving between Kent and Essex."

Officers focused on indivuduals believed to be involved in drug and violent crime, led by the Tactical Operations Unit supported by officers from within the Rural Task Force, Road Safety Team, Proactive Tasking Team and the Local Policing Team.

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In total, 18 people were arrested during vehicle stops, with 13 for offences being investigated by Kent Police.

Superintendent Mick Gardner of Kent Police said: "This collaboration between Kent and Essex, including support from the Metropolitan Police, is a terrific example of how we share intelligence in order to stop criminal activity and keep our counties safe."

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A 23-year-old man from Essex was arrested on suspicion of firearms offences in Kent.

A 38-year-old man from Dartford was arrested on suspicion of harassment.

Three men aged 19, 20 and 21 from Gravesend were arrested on suspicion of being concerned with the supply of class B drugs after cannabis was found in the car. The 19-year-old was also arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs.

Three men aged 21 from Romney Marsh, 20 from Dartford and 23 from Northfleet, were arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply class A drugs after cocaine was found in a vehicle. The 23-year-old was also arrested for possession of an offensive weapon after a knuckle duster was discovered and seized by police.

A man aged 32 from Rochester was detained for driving whilst under the influence of drugs. He was also given a Traffic Offence Report after his car was found to have a defective tyre.

Two men aged 23 and 37 from Northfleet and Gravesend respectively were also detained after officers stopped a car and found a kilo of cannabis inside.

Following these last two arrests, a house was searched in Gravesend where officers found a large supply of steroids, cocaine, plastic deal bags and a set of weighing scales.

Cash totalling more than £10,000 was found along with high-value personal possessions including electronic equipment and clothes.

At the property two more people, a 41-year-old man and a 42-year-old woman, were detained on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of controlled drugs.

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Superintendent Mick Gardner added: "We are pleased this operation led to the arrest of a number of individuals and a significant seizure of drugs. We take a zero-tolerance approach to drug-related crime and work continuously with neighbouring forces to target known offenders and bring them to justice.

"Like many other parts of the force, our teams benefit from a close relationship with our counterparts in Essex and this work is a fundamental part of policing."