Six dead in suspected drug-related deaths in just 36 hours

Essex Police has confirmed six people have died in 36 hours in suspected drug-related deaths

The force revealed this afternoon a woman in her 30s found dead in Southend on Sunday morning is the latest victim.

Five other people died from suspected drug overdoes in a quite seaside area of Essex. 

A woman in her 40s was found dead on Canvey Island yesterday evening, after three men and a woman died in Leigh-on-Sea, and Benfleet.

The deaths have all occurred in a five mile radius and have urged police to issue a stark warning to locals not to take drugs while they are investigated.

Detective Chief Inspector Jennings said earlier today: “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.

“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.”

Essex Police officers are currently holding a press conference about the six suspected drug related deaths, Essex Live reports.

At the briefing Chief Superintendent Kevin Baldwin said: “We are concerned by these deaths and have dedicated officers working around the clock to investigate the circumstances.

“At this stage we believe these incidents are contained to the south of the county but part of our enquiries is to see whether other parts of Essex are affected.

“We believe the deaths are linked to the taking of Class A drugs and are carrying out tests to establish exactly what the substance or substances involved are.

“Until we have the results of those tests we’re not going to speculate about what’s involved or how it was taken.

“Our message is clear though – if you are considering taking Class A drugs, please don’t."

He added: "Due to the fact that they are close together and it’s an unusually high number, and the circumstances of the deaths themselves, an investigation has been launched to try and establish the cause of those deaths.

"We believe its linked to the taking of class A drugs. We can’t say for sure at this stage what those drugs are.

"There are going to be a number of tests done – forensic tests to try and identify the nature of the drugs and the contents of them."

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