A BROTHEL is no longer operating close to Basildon town centre after police cleared the property in a dramatic raid.

The Basildon town centre police team ploughed their way into a property in Butneys after reports from neighbours suggested it was being used as a brothel, with prostitutes working from site.

During the raid police seized dozens of items of evidence, including an appointment book detailing customer bookings.

Dramatic video footage from the scene shows officers investigating items of clothing, upturning beds and searching through the cupboards of the house.

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The team also seized several mobile phones, and also recovered a knuckleduster weapon on one side table.

One man who was found at the premises was interviewed by police.

Police stated the raid took placed based on information “provided to us by concerned residents”.

The Echo reported on the raid at the time, on July 17, but police bosses have now confirmed the premises has been completely cleared and is no longer in use, as well as releasing footage.

A spokesman said: “The premises has since been cleared. We are continuing our investigation, studying the evidence we gathered, and liaising with the landlord to further our enquiries.”

The operation was led by Sergeant Paul Hogben of the town centre team, which earlier this week celebrated its one year anniversary in the town of Basildon and others in Essex.

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Sgt Hogben said: “Town centre teams do more than just patrol the high street.

“We’re here to predominantly solve problems that affect the town centre.

“That may be shoplifting, but that’s also anti-social behaviour, drugs, and in this case a potential brothel.”

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Derrick Fellowes, councillor for Nethermayne ward, said: “Well done police, brothels are springing up all over the place sadly.”

Anyone with information can call police on 101 or contact crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.