POLICE are standing strong after the disorder, which wreaked havoc across the UK, arrived in south Essex.

About 350 yobs descended on Basildon town centre on Tuesday night and police on horseback responded. One police woman was hurt.

Police were attacked as they tried to disperse a gang in the town centre who had been smashing shop windows and setting rubbish fires.

Four people have been arrested in connection with the trouble including two teenagers from Grays arrested for inciting violence on social networking sites.

In the aftermath of the trouble Basildon Council leader Tony Ball called for calm.

He said: “There is no excuse for the behaviour we have seen on the news recently and I was very disappointed to see people acting like lemmings and following the crowd last night."

Meanwhile, fire crews attended 11 arson attacks on Canvey island ranging from bin fires to vehicles being set ablaze.

Roads affected included Lincoln Way, Chiltern Approach and Third Avenue in Canvey.

Also in Basildon, fire crews were attacked as they tackled a blaze in Basildon's Gloucester Park.