OFFICERS tackling Essex road crime successfully arrested eight suspects in connection with stolen vehicles.

The officers also recovered six stolen vehicles and two knives.

Colleagues from the Operational Support Group supported the Road Crime Team in an operation beginning July 11.

Spanning three days, they tackled high harm offenders and their use of Essex roads to facilitate crime.

Furthermore, the operation saw the five forces surrounding the M25, including the Metropolitan Police, carry out similar enforcement activities on the same days.

This was to target cross-border criminality, with a specific focus on car theft.

Sergeant David Wood, Essex Police’s Road Crime Team, said: “The results from the operation show that the Roads Policing Unit don’t just focus on traffic-related offences, but also the types of crimes that harm our communities. 

“In particular, we take the theft of vehicles very seriously and know that not only does it have an immediate impact on the vehicle owner and their ability to carry out daily tasks, but it can also impact their livelihood if they can’t get to work.”

Over three days, the RCT and OSG made a total of 19 arrests.

This included further arrests for drug supply, suspects wanted for domestic abuse and violent crimes and possession of offensive weapons.

PS Wood explained: “We will continue to work hard to disrupt those behind car thefts, to protect car owners and communities and we’ll do that through continued use of intelligence to identify perpetrators, gather evidence and identify patterns of offending.

“Operations like this one give us the opportunity to gather even more intelligence about the people who are using our roads and what crimes they might be committing.

"And we’d welcome anyone who suspects that someone is using our roads to facilitate serious crimes, to contact us and we will deal.”

During the three-day operation, officers also seized 13 vehicles for having no insurance and a further 15 roadside disposals for offences.

Some drivers were given cautions and others were reported for traffic offences.

“If you have information about who is responsible for car theft, call 101.

Alternatively, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 to make an anonymous report.”