POLICE are hunting for an armed gang after an officer was injured trying to stop them fleeing in a stolen car.

An arsenal of weapons were discovered in a stolen Ford Fiesta before three men attempted to flee the scene.

Officers were investigating an attempted lorry raid in a business park in Paycocke Road, Basildon at the time.

Police arrived shortly after 11.30pm on Tuesday.

They discovered a stolen Ford Focus with a large amount of weaponry inside.

It is not known if the weapons were designed to be used in any break-in or for other reasons.

A spokesman for Essex Police said: “Officers arrested one man and seized knives, hammers and railway flares after responding to a call to three men breaking into a lorry.

“When the officers arrived, the suspects got into a Ford Focus and attempted to drive off.

“One of the officers was injured as they attempted to get the men out of the car, which was found to have been stolen.

“Inside the Ford were knives, hammers, angle grinders, railway flares and a baseball bat.”

A 42-year-old man from Aveley has been arrested.

The suspected driver was arrested on suspicion of theft of a motor vehicle, theft from a motor vehicle and possession of an offensive weapon.

He remains in custody for questioning.

The other two suspects ran off and enquiries are ongoing to find them.

The condition of the injured officer has not been released.

Following the attempts to stop the alleged gang members of the public spoke out in support of the bravery of the officer.

George Wakeman, from Basildon, said: “Well done to the police and I hope the officer was not too badly injured and is recovering.

“Real shame they managed to get away.

“Hopefully they can be found soon.”

Linda Whiter wrote: “This is awful. Keep up the good work you do officers.”

Claire Brading, 35, also from Basildon, said: “They seem to be hitting the quieter estates with big storage areas more often, probably think it’s an easy target, but am glad they were stopped this time.”

Anyone with information is asked to call Basildon CID on 101 quoting incident 1507 of June 25.

Alternatively contact the Crimestoppers charity anonymously on 0800 555111 with any information.