Officers working on a drugs investigation had an unexpected surprise when they found a 4ft crocodile and 16 live snakes during a house search in Essex.
A man was arrested earlier this week in connection with an ongoing investigation into a cannabis factory found in an industrial unit in Cranes Farm Road, Basildon, in November 2015.
Following this week's arrest, officers searched a house in Burdett Avenue, Westcliff where they found a caiman crocodile and 16 live snakes. Among them were cobras, copperheads, pythons, a Madagascan giant hognose snake and a scorpion.
Detective Inspector Steve Nelson, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said:
We are working together with the RSPCA as part of the investigation into how these wild animals came to be kept in such conditions. As officers we come across many different finds during our investigations and these are among the more unusual.”
A 36-year-old man from Basildon was arrested on suspicion of cannabis production, keeping a dangerous animal without a licence, and animal cruelty offences. He was released on bail until February 13, pending further enquiries.
Essex Police have admitted "letting down" a businessman who had clear CCTV of alleged thieves stealing £26,000 worth of furniture from his warehouse but was told by officers they didn't have time to investigate.
Jack Whiteley was relieved to find his security measures in the Leigh-on-Sea area of Southend had captured footage of the theft last month and handed it straight to officers.
The businessman says delays by police could have scuppered his chances of getting his property back. Two people have now been arrested.
- Click below to watch a report by ITV News Anglia's Helen Keenan
Seven police officers from Essex have travelled to the Caribbean to help with the recovery following Hurricane Irma.Read the full story ›
Police in Essex are hunting a fake charity collector in the Harlow area who is targeting vulnerable people.
They have issued an efit image of a woman they would like to speak to in connection to a burglary and a number of fraudulent incidents.
On Monday 28 August the woman went to a house in Halling Hill claiming to be a charity representative and asked to use the victim’s toilet.
The victim, a woman in her late-80s, but then heard her in an upstairs bedroom. The victim confronted the woman and asked her to leave. Items had been disturbed in the bedroom.
Later officers received reports that a woman matching the same description, had approached a number of houses in Long Ley, saying she was deaf and was collecting money for a deaf children’s charity.
The threat of terrorism, people and drug smuggling along the Essex coastline is increasing according to the police force's marine unit.Read the full story ›
Police in Essex have released an efit image after a man indecently exposed himself to a woman in Pitsea near Basildon.
The incident took place in Buckerills at about 10.15pm on 31 July. The victim, a 21-year-old woman, reported seeing the same man in High Road on 2 August and Steeplehall on 9 August.
The man was described as aged in his 30s, about 5ft 8ins tall and of stocky, muscular build. He had short brown hair and was clean shaven.
Two teenagers who killed a "superhero daddy" by throwing a lit flare into his car as he slept inside it in Essex have been jailed.Read the full story ›
The father of the man found dead in Michael Barrymore's swimming pool has welcomed the High Court's ruling that the entertainer should get damages from Essex Police.
Stuart Lubbock's father Terry says the publicity will keep his campaign to get to the truth behind his son's death in the public eye.
After Stuart Lubbock was found raped and murdered at the Michael Barrymore's home near Harlow in 2001, the star's television career was effectively halted.
He was arrested in 2007 in connection with Mr Lubbock's death but later released without charge. He wants millions to replace his potential loss of earnings.
- Click to watch a report by ITV News Anglia's Hannah Pettifer
Essex Police say they still want to find out what happened to Stuart Lubbock who died at Michael Barrymore's home near Harlow in 2001.Read the full story ›
Entertainer Michael Barrymore is entitled to "more than nominal" damages against Essex Police over the wrongful arrest which he says destroyed his career, a High Court judge has ruled.
The comedian and TV presenter was arrested and detained in June 2007 on suspicion of the rape and murder of 31-year-old Stuart Lubbock, who was found in the swimming pool at his home in Roydon near Harlow six years earlier.
Mr Justice Stuart-Smith, sitting in London on Friday, ruled against the force, which had argued that Mr Barrymore should only receive a nominal payout.