Police footage shows head-on crash near Southend which stopped armed teens fleeing

  • Footage from inside the police car shows the moment officers stopped fleeing teenagers armed with knives by crashing into their Ford Kuga.

Police officers chasing two teenagers seen brandishing knives made a "split-second" decision to stop them by crashing into their car, police said.

Essex Police has released bodyworn camera footage of the pursuit, including the moment of the collision in a high street in Great Wakering near Southend in Essex.

The recording from inside the police car shows airbags deploying and the officers leaping out of the car as sirens wail in the background.

They can be heard shouting at the armed teenagers before threatening them with tasers and making them lie on the road.

Officers said the crash was the only way to stop the youths' "appalling" high-speed driving which was putting the public at risk.

During the pursuit, the fleeing car was driven at high speeds onto the wrong side of the road and over the pavement near the entrance to a school.

Police approach the fleeing car, which can be seen circled in the moments before the crash. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Police were called after reports two teenagers had been seen waving knives in a Ford Kuga in Ruskin Avenue in Southend at lunchtime on 22 May.

Pursuit officers began following the the car, signalling for it to stop by activating their blue lights.

The Kuga, which was on cloned number plates, did not stop and a pursuit followed through Southend and into Great Wakering.

After losing track of the car in traffic, they then saw it coming towards them, and the two cars collided almost head-on in Great Wakering High Street.

The moment of collision was captured on cameras in the police vehicle. Credit: Essex Police

Det Sgt Daniel Thrale said the pursuit was "entirely professional" and the pair had to be stopped as quickly as possible.

He said: “The manner of the suspect’s driving was appalling and posed a substantial risk to the public.

“In bringing this pursuit to a close, the officers involved had to make a split-second decision to try and block the vehicles path, which resulted in contact being made.

“This was a significant collision which caused injury to the officers, though both were back on duty within two days."

The driver, a 17-year-old boy, from Shoeburyness, who cannot be named because of his age, was detained and two blades – a knife and a machete – were recovered from the Kuga.

He admitted possession of a knife, aggravated vehicle taking, dangerous driving, and other driving offences.

At a sentencing hearing at Colchester Magistrates’ Court on 14 June, he was sentenced to a six-month youth detention and training order and disqualified from driving for 15 months.

The handle of a machete could be seen tucked by a seat in the car. Credit: Essex Police

A 16-year-old boy, from Great Wakering, arrested on suspicion of possession of a knife, theft of a motor vehicle, and aggravated vehicle taking, remains on bail until 21 July.

Essex Police's serious violence unit identifies those who are likely to become perpetrators of knife crime. In Essex, suspects are 90% male and more than half are aged between 10 and 19.

In the 12 months to 17 June 2024, Essex Police recorded 1,529 "knife-enabled offences". This was down 5% on the same period last year and down 7% on pre-Covid levels.

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