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  • Essex Police are keeping a "poo watch" after criminal refused to go to toilet for over three weeks.
  • "He doesn't seem to understand that eventually he will have to go."

A British criminal has put himself on a self-imposed toilet strike after police accused him of swallowing a stash of drugs.

Essex Police are keeping close watch on the man's bowel movements, as he has now refused to take a toilet break for over 23 days.

Officers at Operation Raptor, who monitor organised crime in the Harlow, Brentwood and Epping Forest areas, have officially started a 'poo watch' and have tweeted about the unfolding saga on from their account.

Yesterday they said three weeks had passed without the criminal going to the toilet: "Day 21/3 weeks for our man on #poowatch still no movements/items to report, he will remain with us until Friday when we are back at court where we will be requesting a further 8 days should he not produce anything before that hearing #opraptor"

Police have also said that he "doesn't seem to understand that eventually he will need/have to go".

The unnamed man was arrested in Harlow, Essex on January 17 and has been charged with possession and intent to supply two Class A drugs. Police say he is being monitored carefully by medical professionals, even though his protest is not though to pose any immediate health risk.

"This is his own choice and so far his health is fine," officers said.

Essex Police's lead for Operation Raptor, Chief Superintendent Paul Wells, has called on youngsters to heed advice to stay away from a lifestyle of gangs and crime.

"Drug dealing and a gang lifestyle is not glamorous.You'll be exploited, be the victim or perpetrator of violence, you'll spend your days wondering whether a rival dealer or police officer will find you first", he said.

"You'll be expected to courier and deliver drugs and that might involve you swallowing or carrying them inside you, which is particularly dangerous.

"If you are arrested and suspected of having drugs inside you, we can and will keep you in custody until you produce them.

"It's important that Essex Police continues to highlight the reality around drug and gang-related crime."