Fears over killer batch of Class A drugs on streets after FIFTH death in 36 hours within 10 miles of Southend-of-Sea
- Five drug-related deaths have occurred near Southend in just 36 hours
- Police say deaths linked to Class A drugs but have not revealed what type
- Deaths have occurred in Canvey Island, Westcliff, Leigh-on-Sea and Benfleet
- It is understood they may be linked but are not due to contamination
Police have issued an urgent warning after five drug-related deaths in the same community in just 36 hours.
Essex Police said the spate of deaths around the Southend area was an ‘obvious concern’ and officers are investigating whether they are linked.
Police said the substances involved were Class A drugs but added they did not know what type or if more than one was involved. It is understood they are not contaminated.
Police are investigating after five drug-related deaths in Essex in 36 hours, pictured on this map
They include the deaths of a man in his 40s and a woman in her 40s, both in Canvey Island (file picture)
A woman in her 40s was the most recent casualty after she was found unresponsive in Canvey Island yesterday.
The first case was the death of a man in his 20s in Leigh-on-Sea on Monday and police then discovered the body of a woman in her 30s in Westcliff later the same day.
On Tuesday officers found the bodies of a man in his 40s in Canvey Island and a man in his 20s in Benfleet.
Detective Chief Inspector Stephen Jennings, from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: ‘Five deaths in the space of around 36 hours in one area of Essex is an obvious concern and my team are working hard to establish if they are linked.
‘Part of that work is to identify exactly what the substance or substances involved are and more tests are needed to do that.
On Monday, a man in his 20s was found dead at an address in Leigh-on-Sea (file photo)
A woman in her 30s was also found dead in nearby Westcliff. Police say they do not know what the Class A substance responsible is (file picture of Westcliff)
‘At this stage I believe the deaths may be linked to the taking of Class A drugs and I would urge anyone considering taking them not to.
‘Another element of our investigation is identify where the substances involved have come from and I need anyone who has information about the sale of Class A drugs in south Essex – or elsewhere in the county – to come forward.’
Anyone with information on the deaths or the sale of Class A drugs in the area should call police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.