EXCLUSIVE: Secrecy around firearms op in market town Epping linked to organised crime in London
POLICE are being tight-lipped about an operation that saw an armed unit sent to a sleepy market town.
Residents in Epping, Essex, saw police with guns and other officers scoring grass in the High Road, near the junction with Theydon Road on the opposite side to the Bell Hotel on Friday, July 21, at around 5pm.
Met Police counterparts had been seen carrying out similar work earlier in the day in the Whipps Cross area of east London from about 10:30.
News of the operation was broken on Friday by our sister publication News Junkie on TikTok.
Police were seen in the early evening opposite the Bell Hotel, which is currently housing several migrants at the expense of the Home Office, while their applications for asylum are processed.
Essex Police stressed that the operation was in no way linked to the hotel and just happened to take place outside.
A source said it was connected to "organised criminality between Essex and the Met areas."
An Essex Police spokesman said: "Two men have been arrested on suspicion of firearms offences after a vehicle was stopped by officers in High Road, Epping shortly after 4pm yesterday, Friday July 21.
"Both men remain in custody for questioning and our enquiries are ongoing."
He refused to answer if the suspects had been found with any firearms or ammunition, saying it was "quite sensitive."
The Met Police was unable to provide any details about it's involvement in the operation.
However, a viewer of our TikTok video posted the next day: "I saw this yesterday also at the boat Lake at Whipps Cross Road, doing the same thing, sifting through grass and bags at about 10:30am to 11:00am."
We will update once more is known.