A group of up to 450 cars gathered for a large car meet, prompting warnings they could have their vehicles seized if they didn't return home.

Essex Police say such meets not only clearly breach Covid-19 regulations, but also put members of the public at risk from dangerous and anti-social driving.

It comes after the team were made aware yesterday evening (April 4) of a group involving up to 450 cars which initially met in the car park of the Sainsbury’s in Chelmsford and then moved to The Manorway in Thurrock.

Car cruisers were warned to go home or face having their vehicles taken, while a public space protection order was put in place.

Chief Inspector Richard Melton, District Commander for Thurrock, said: “If you come to Thurrock this evening and take part in a car cruising event you could have your car seized.

“Our partners at Thurrock Council have put additional measures in place, such as a public space protection order (PSPO) which give us increased powers to deal and disperse these events.

“And we have additional resources available to us this weekend meaning if you come here, we have the manpower to deal with you.

“If you go somewhere else in the county, we’ll be there too.”

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Mr Melton added these events can pose a risk to those attending and to the public.

He continued: “We know that when these events take place, there are some of those involved who will drive anti-socially and sometimes drive dangerously.

“This puts them at risk as well as members of the public.

“Additionally, this meet would be a clear and blatant breach of the Government’s Covid-19 regulations so if you attend, you can face a fine.

“Our message is clear: If you’re planning to meet, don’t. Go home.

"You could have your car seized, you could face a fine for breaching Covid-19 regulations, and we have the resources available to deal with you.”