POLICE seized these weapons from a fleeing gang outside a multi-million pound art gallery. 

Officers spotted the 20-strong group outside Firstsite, in Lewis Gardens, in Colchester, on Tuesday evening. 

But when they approached the group, each of the members fled leaving behind two bags containing the weapons, drug paraphernalia and hundreds of pounds in cash.

One of the group, an 18-year-old man, became aggressive and was arrested on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

However police say there was not enough evidence to connect him to the weapons and he was subsequently released without charge. 

An Essex Police spokesman said: "We take a zero tolerance approach to the carrying of knives and every weapon take off the streets is one less weapon that can fall into the wrong hands.

"These weapons will now be destroyed."

Inspector Danielle Booth, of Colchester community policing team, said: “Noticing a large group of people acting suspiciously, our officers had their concerns and carried out a search of the group.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

“During this search, three large knives, drugs paraphernalia and a large amount of cash was discovered. 

"The man we arrested was later released without charge, however, the items seized have since been destroyed.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

"By removing these items, we have helped prevent further crime in our community."

Anyone with information on the group, or about knife and drug crime in general, should call Essex Police on 101 or 999 in an emergency.

Information can also be passed to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.