Saturday, May 25, 2024

Three arrests after weapons and cash seized at Lakeside

THREE men have been arrested after officers seized an imitation firearm, a knife and a large amount of cash when they became suspicious of a vehicle close to Lakeside, in Thurrock.

Shortly after 7.30pm on Monday 13 May, officers carrying out patrols to tackle local antisocial behaviour came across a minor collision at Arterial Road roundabout between two vehicles, one of which was a van.

They had seen a man holding a large amount of cash. When officers asked for the man to provide identification, he attempted to distract the officers from going near to his van.

When the officers got close to the vehicle, they saw a baseball bat and two other men in the vehicle.

Once all three were detained safely, a search on the van uncovered a lock knife hidden under the driver’s seat as well as an imitation firearm and between £3,000 and £4,000 in cash.

During a further search, officers found three vehicle registration plates and a number of sets of vehicle keys which did not relate to the van.

All three men were arrested on suspicion of possession of an imitation firearm, theft of motor vehicle and possession of an offensive weapon.

All three men have been bailed with conditions until July whilst our investigation continues. 

The arrests come during a week of intensification in our work to tackle knife crime and serious violence across Essex.

In the year to April 2024, we recorded 1,519 knife-enabled offences across the county – 112 fewer offences than in the 12 months to April 2023.

This is a drop of 7% year-on-year and a fall of 7.5% compared to pre-Covid levels.

Our investigation will also seek to uncover where the vehicle keys and registration plates originated from and identify further lines of enquiry.

Chief Inspector Tony Atkin, Thurrock district commander, said: “The officers who were quickly at the scene of this incident knew something wasn’t right and persevered even when the driver attempted to distract them from doing their duty.

“And thankfully they did. The severity of these items which have been seized speak for themselves – but it is very important to note that they are now off the streets of Essex and cannot cause harm to our Thurrock community.” 

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