POLICE carried out a search of Clacton after fears were raised that weapons have been hidden around the town centre.

Police officers carried out a search in a number of car parks and alleyways in the area after concerns were raised by businesses.

Officers worked alongside council enforcement officers to look for weapons in bin, bushes and other locations.

A spokesman for Essex Police said: “Our community policing team were in Clacton town centre working alongside Tendring Council’s civil enforcement officers.

“As a result of information provided to us that weapons were being hidden in and around the town, we carried out a search of several alleyways and car park areas.

“Thankfully we didn’t find anything that shouldn’t have been there and hope that this provides some reassurance to local residents and businesses.”

Insp Darren Deex, from Clacton Police Station, added that the initiative took place on Thursday following intelligence reported to the police, but was not related to a spike in knife crime in the town.

He added that the search was also a good opportunity for police to show the strength of its work with the council and its community safety activities.

Tendring councillor Lynda McWilliams, chairman of the Tendring Community Safety Partnership, said the initiative was a great example of partnership working in practice.

“Tendring Community Safety Partnership is always happy to support any of its members with initiatives such as this which make our towns and villages safer places to live, work and visit,” she said.

“It is reassuring that nothing was found, but demonstrates our willingness to take action to tackle crime.

“What is also positive about this search is that it was based on intelligence provided by the community.

"Residents are our eyes and ears in the community, and any information they can give us to tackle issues is always welcomed.”

Anyone with information about weapons being carried in the town should call Essex Police on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.