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With Roni O'brien

Around 450 vehicles gather for illegal car meet in Chelmsford and Thurrock

The group moved to The Manorway in Thurrock (credit: Google Maps)

One person has been arrested and 22 people were given tickets after a large illegal car meet in parts of Essex.

Around 450 cars initially congregated in the car park of Sainsbury’s in Chelmsford before moving to the Manorway in Thurrock last night.

The group left the county at around 11.50pm after local policing officers, road police units, and officers from the Operational Support Group attended each location to disperse them.

When they tried to return in the early hours of this morning to another site in Chelmsford, officers once again dispersed them.

One person was arrested and 22 fines were given tickets, which means points on their licence, for offences such as speeding and careless driving.

A number of other people received formal warnings that similar behaviour in future would result in their car being seized.

District Commander for Thurrock, Chief Inspector Richard Melton said: “We acted quickly to deal with this challenging situation which involved a meet consisting of a very large number of vehicles.

“These events do pose a danger to the public as there is often an element who will be driving anti-socially and dangerously.

“Only a few years ago a young woman had to have part of her leg amputated after being hit by a motorbike and an illegal meet.

“Our roads policing teams continue to work to tackle street racing, dangerous driving, and anti-social driving because we know the risk it poses and the harm it can cause.

“The sheer number of vehicles involved posted a challenge to our officers but we had additional resources available to deal with it and were able to do so without anyone being injured.

“An organised meet like this is also a clear and blatant breach of the Government’s Covid-19 regulations.

Chief Insp Melton added: “Our partners at Thurrock Council have put additional measures in place, such as a public space protection order (PSPO) which give us increased powers to deal and disperse these events.

“We will continue to work with them to keep you safe on our roads and in our communities.”

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