A POLICE car smashed into a lamppost during a high-speed chase to arrest a man connected to a £100,000 gun theft.

The driver fled after armed police carried out a series of early morning raids across Southend and Benfleet to track down shotguns and rifles stolen in Basildon last month.

CCTV footage shows the van being chased along narrow Southend streets.

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The van collided with the police car in Blenheim Chase, Leigh, just before 11am and the car smashed into the lamppost. The white Volkswagen van drove off and was later found dumped near the Camelia Hotel in Eastern Esplanade, Southend. The driver is still at large.

Fourteen people have now been arrested as part of the operation.

Police are still hunting for the guns.

A 33-year-old man from Benfleet, a 34-year-old man from Southend, a 30-year-old man from Southend and a 20-year-old woman from Westcliff were arrested and are currently being held at police stations across South Essex.

Southend Standard: Dumped - The van behind Camelia Hotel