A FURTHER ten people have been arrested in relation to protests in Thurrock, making the total 172 since Friday.

Essex Police have confirmed their response to a number of protests in Thurrock are continuing today, with a further ten people being arrested as a result of proactive and preventative work by the officers.

Eight arrests took place this morning after a vehicle was stopped in London Road, Grays, shortly after 4am, as the occupations attempted to leave it.

READ MORE >> Essex Police arrest more people as protests continues into today

During a subsequent search of the vehicle, officers found a number of items which caused them to believe those in the vehicle were intent on causing criminal damage.

The lead to the eight of them being arrested on suspicion of various offences including conspiracy to cause a public nuisance and possession of articles to commit criminal damage.

A further two people were then arrested shortly after midday, close to a protest site in Oliver Road, Grays, after being searched.

They were arrested on suspicion of aiding and abetting criminal damage.

In total, 172 people have been arrested in relation to a number of protests in the Thurrock area.

Rachel Nolan, Essex Police assistant chief constable, said: “Whilst we have reacted, and continue to react, to this incident, we also have officers focusing on the prevention of further disruption.

“We continue to work today, alongside our key partners to bring these protests to a safe conclusion, prevent any risk to the public and to minimise the impact being caused to the community.

“Our aim is to bring the areas affected back to normality as quickly as possible.

“I want to again emphasise that policing is not anti-protest, and we will always endeavour to facilitate protest where we can.

“However, we must intervene when there is a risk to life or where laws are being broken, and we will continue to do so.”