MORE than 2,000 motorists were checked during a day of police action... including a car being driven without a front seat.

The operation was carried out in and around Manningtree in response to a rise in rural crime.

A team of officers and special constables with Essex and Suffolk Police carried out the operation on Saturday.

Officers stopped and checked more than 2,000 vehicles on the A137 at Cattawade.

Chief Insp Russell Cole, Tendring’s district commander, said: “There has been an increase in rural crime in Manningtree concerning burglary of people’s properties and sheds.

“We had a day of action to address this on the A137.

“It was a really good day of disrupting offenders and making arrests.

“We stop checked more than 2,000 vehicles and 63 different vehicles and drivers were stopped.

“One arrest was made following a positive drug test in relation to cannabis.

“One was made for a failed eyesight test and one person was on their mobile phone.

"Eight people were caught not wearing seatbelts.

“One vehicle in particular stood out – it had no driver seats, the tyres were so low they were below the legal limit. I hadn’t seen anything like it for a long while.

“Six drivers were stopped for speeding.”

Mr Cole said there were “imminent” plans for similar roadside action across Tendring, in response to a rise in calls from the public concern- ing illegal driving.

He said: “There has been a perceived downturn in the standard of driving in the district which is not acceptable.

“We will be maintaining this momentum throughout the summer.

“For anyone looking to use the roads of Tendring for a criminal purpose – think again.”