A large gang believed to be armed with weapons is reported to have caused a disturbance, resulting in extra police patrols overnight.

Essex Police authorised a Section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 across Debden and Loughton on Monday, February 17 until 7.20am today (Tuesday, February 18).

This allows uniformed officers to stop and search people for dangerous objects and weapons without the need to have a reasonable suspicion.

They were brought in after police were called to reports of a disturbance on The Broadway, Debden, just before 6pm of Monday, February 17.

It was reported to involve around 15 people, some of whom are thought to have had weapons, and two people were injured.

Officers attended the scene and enquiries are ongoing.

This is the second Section 60 Order Act issued across Loughton in less than a month following a previous disturbance on Monday, January 20.

The powers are being exercised by Essex Police to protect the community and prevent incidents of crime and disorder.

Epping Forest Guardian:

A bird's eye view of where Essex Police authorised the Section 60 Order across Loughton and Debden

Insp Russell Welch from the Harlow and Loughton Community Policing Team said: “Following the earlier incident today we are doing all we can to investigate what happened, protect the community, and prevent any further disturbances.

“We will be carrying out extra patrols to reassure residents and we would like to thank the local community in advance for their co-operation.”

The Section 60 order covered a 1,000 metre area around the junction of Forest Road and High Street including: Church Hill, Station Road, Forest Road, Earl’s Path, Staple’s Hill, Loughton Brook, Alderton Hill, Roding Road and Trap’s Hill.

If you saw anything, have any CCTV or dash cam footage, any other information about the earlier disturbance please call us on 101 quoting incident 977 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.