A man who had taken over the home of a vulnerable person in Westcliff, has been jailed for almost three years.
Officers suspected the property had been taken over by a drug dealer who was using it as a base from which to supply Class A drugs in the Southend area.
As a result of our investigations, officers attended the property, in Westborough Road, on 18 January.
Once they entered, Terrence Tshuma was detained on the living room sofa. He was wearing black clothes and had a balaclava covering his face.
In front of him was two sets of digital scales and a roll of cling film. When Tshuma stood up, a blanket which had been covering him fell to the ground and a large red kitchen knife fell out of the blanket.
Tshuma was then arrested.
When searched, officers found two large wraps of Class A drugs and a black Samsung phone. He also had about £120 in cash.
Tshuma, 25, from Aylestone Lane, Wigston, Leicestershire, was subsequently charged with possession with intent to supply Class A drugs and acquiring, using or possessing criminal property.
He admitted the charges and was sentenced to a total of 34 months in prison at Southend Crown Court on March 3.
Protecting vulnerable people
The person whose home had been taken over by Tshuma has been safeguarded and is now receiving support.
Sergeant Rob Maile, of Op Raptor South, said:
“While enforcement forms a large part of the role of our teams, we also ensure that the people who need help and support get it.
“Quite often, the people who are being exploited by gangs will feel they have no way out of their situation but there is always help available.
“If you are vulnerable and if you are being exploited, we have dedicated officers in place who can help you. You will be treated as a victim and you will be offered support.”
Sgt Maile added: “In this case, while taking Tshuma off the streets is something to celebrate, helping the person whose home had been taken over and lifting them out of that life is so much more satisfying.”
Officers in our Serious Violence Unit all contribute on a daily basis to reducing drug driven violence in our county and safeguarding those most vulnerable in society.