A FAMILY of four - including two young children - were involved in a crash with a police car on a busy Southend road.

The crash took place shortly before 2pm on Friday, in Victoria Avenue.

The police car appeared to be leaving Southend police station and subsequently turned on to the dual carriageway towards the A127.

The family car, a silver Nissan Qashqai, sustained significant damaged to the front.

The police car was seen to have minor damage to the front left of the vehicle.

Essex Police confirmed the driver of the Nissan had been reported for careless driving.

Pictures from the scene show the Nissan facing the wrong way on the carriageway, but the exact reasons for that are unclear at this stage.

The railings at the crossing, opposite Southend Magistrates’ Court, were heavily dented.

A police car and firefighters attended the scene but it is understood that no one was injured.

A gym member at Rush Fitness who did not want to be named, was leaving the gym - which is adjacent to the scene - when the crash happened.

She told the Echo: “Just as I was leaving the gym I heard a massive bang - it was really loud.

“As I looked up, as I was on texting on my phone as I left the gym, I saw both the car and police car.

“It was quite a shock to see something like that on a Friday afternoon.

“I hung around for a bit to see what had happened and a lot of other people started to gather.

“The guy then got out of the car and two children, who looked very distressed and upset.

“I’m hoping that everybody is OK.”

A spokesman for Essex Police said: “It was reported a police car and a Nissan Qashqai were in collision in Victoria Avenue, Southend at around 1.50pm on Friday, September 13.

“The driver of the Qashqai has been reported for careless driving.”

The spokesman appealed for witnesses, adding: “If you have any information, please call us on 101 quoting incident 656 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”