Weapon Search at Lakeside.

THIS one is a bit of a double-edged sword (no pun intended). Lakeside Shopping Centre, like many other places has become a magnet for gangs to congregate.

Police deployed a safety arch on the link bridge between Lakeside Shopping Centre and Chafford Hundred railway station on Friday, October 23, and saw some positive results.

Over 200 people passed through the safety arch as they entered the shopping centre, in a bid to deter criminals from visiting the location.

A 16-year-old boy from Upminster was found to be in possession of a chain. He was arrested for possession of an offensive weapon and was taken to police custody at Grays where he was later given a warning.

Sgt Anna Brennan, who is in charge of policing at Lakeside, said: “This operation was a great success. We want criminals to know they are not welcome here, as Lakeside is a safe and enjoyable place for people to visit and by mounting operations like this, we can make sure it stays that way.

“The fact we only had one positive result is great, as it shows there really isn’t a knife problem here. We will continue to work with the British Transport Police and Lakeside itself until criminals get the message and stay away.”

The operation ran from 4pm to 10pm.

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