A POLICE officer was taken to hospital after a stolen van was driven into a police car during a "shocking" incident in Little Clacton.

Essex Police said a Ford Transit van had been stolen and made off from officers in Centenary Way at about 1pm on Tuesday.

A police officer suffered minor injuries during the incident and required hospital treatment.

Sgt Colin Shead, from Stanway Roads Policing Unit, said: “This was a shocking incident whereby a person deliberately hit not only a police car but also two other cars belonging to members of the public.

"We take a zero tolerance stance on incidents where people’s safety is put at risk and we will find this suspect."

“Anyone with information regarding the incident or if you recognise the man from the CCTV image, please call the police or Crimestoppers."

He added that the two other cars were being driven when the van hit them, but that no one else was injured.

A spokesman for the force added: "A silver Ford Transit van has been stolen and made off from officers.

"The driver of the van has then driven into a police car before hitting a second and third car.

"The suspect is described as being in his 50s, white with grey hair and was believed to be wearing a fluorescent jacket.

"The van has now been recovered in St Osyth Road.

"The officer was taken to Colchester Hospital with minor injuries."

CCTV images were released of a man police want to speak to in relation to the incident.

Witnesses or anyone with dash cam footage is asked to contact Sgt Colin Shead at Stanway Roads Policing Unit on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.