SIX men have been arrested and 14 vehicles seized in a major police operation in Basildon.

Over 40 police officers took part in Operation Surround A Town today, carrying out roadside checks and mobile patrols around Basildon.

Four men aged 24, 29, 32 and 36 who were all from East London were arrested on suspicion of stealing clothing from a charity after a truck loaded with British Heart Foundation collection bags was stopped near Billericay.

A 25-year-old man from Basildon was also arrested on suspicion of being involved in a domestic assault and a 25-year-old man from East London was arrested on suspicion of driving while disqualified and possessing cannabis.

More than 320 vehicles were stopped and checked. Fourteen vehicles were seized for no insurance, 103 had expired MOTs, 102 people were not wearing seatbelts and 40 drivers were seen using mobile phones.

More than 30 other motor offences were also discovered.

The operation was also part of Essex County Council’s three-year No Excuse campaign to tackle motoring offences and raise awareness that there is no excuse for offences such as speeding, driving while using a mobile phone, not wearing seat belts or driving without insurance or valid driving documents.

All six of the arrested men remain in custody for further questioning.