ESSEX Police’s response to a number of protests in Thurrock is continuing today, Monday 4 April.
Ten people have been arrested as a result of proactive and preventative work by our officers.
Eight of the arrests took place this morning after officers from our operational support group (OSG) stopped a vehicle in London Road, Grays, shortly after 4am.
When the vehicle was stopped, eight people attempted to leave it. However, all were arrested.
During a subsequent search of the vehicle, officers found a number of items which caused them to believe those in the vehicle were intent on causing criminal damage.
Each of the group were arrested on suspicion of various offences including conspiracy to cause a public nuisance and possession of articles to commit criminal damage.
Shortly after midday today, two people were searched and subsequently arrested close to a protest site, in Oliver Road, Grays.
They were arrested on suspicion of aiding and abetting criminal damage.
All ten people who were arrested remain in custody this afternoon.
In total, we have now made 172 arrests in relation to a number of protests which took place in the Thurrock area and we continue to engage with a small number of people remaining in situ.
Essex Police Assistant Chief Constable Rachel Nolan said: “Whilst we have reacted – and continue to react – to this incident, we also have officers focusing on the prevention of further disruption.
“We continue to work today, alongside our key partners, to bring these protests to a safe conclusion, prevent any risk to the public and to minimise the impact being caused to the community.
“Our aim is to bring the areas affected back to normality as quickly as possible.
“I want to again emphasise that policing is not anti-protest, and we will always endeavour to facilitate protest where we can. However, we must intervene when there is a risk to life or where laws are being broken – and we will continue to do so.”