SEVEN people were arrested and 35 vehicles were stopped and checked as police carried out a crackdown on the roads.

Codenamed Operation Mermaid, the crackdown - which aims to target poorly driven and dangerous commercial vehicles - saw officers based at the Moto Services on the M25 at Thurrock on Thursday.

They checked vehicles were taxed, insured and

roadworthy, seizing those which were dangerous or uninsured.
Among those arrested were two women and two teenage girls suspected of stealing food from a local supermarket.

A man from South London who was stopped while driving a tipper lorry was arrested and charged after officers found he was a disqualified driver and two men from Kent were arrested and bailed in connection with the theft of tyres.

Seven other vehicles were seized for having no insurance, three drivers were found to have out of date MOTs and three drivers were stopped for not wearing seat belts.

One driver is beings prosecuted for using a van in dangerous condition after a passenger was found sitting in a fold-up garden chair in the back of the vehicle. He was given a £60 Fixed Penalty Notice and three points on his driving licence.