A HAUL of drugs was discovered in a car during a widespread police operation in Chelmsford.

Operation Surround A Town was carried out on Tuesday with checkpoints set up around the borough along with mobile police patrols stopping vehicles.

The operation was part of Essex County Council’s No Excuses campaign to tackle motoring offences.

More than 440 vehicles were checked, with one incident leading to a mass search of Galleywood when a driver ran from his vehicle when officers tried to stop him.

Drugs believed to be crack cocaine and heroin where found the man’s car.

A spokesman for Essex Police said: “A widespread search was carried in the Galleywood area after a man drove away then ran off when police attempted to stop his car at Galleywood Road.

“The police helicopter, and a police dog were involved in searches around the area but the man was not found.

“A quantity of drugs, the car and other items were seized for forensic examination.”

During the operation, 113 vehicles were stopped for seatbelt offences, 56 drivers were seen using mobile phones and 41 vehicles had expired MOTs.

A further Seven vehicles were seized because the drivers were not insured, two drivers had invalid licences, two drivers were stopped for speeding and 39 other motoring offences were detected.

One motorist faces prosecution after failing to stop and going through a red light after police tried to pull over a car at a checkpoint in Victoria Road which had both people inside not wearing seatbelts.

The vehicle was later stopped by officers.

Another checkpoint stop in Boreham saw a 43-year-old man from Maldon arrested after it was found he was wanted for questioning in connection with an assault causing actual bodily harm dating back to June.

A number of commercial vehicles were checked too with officer recording 61 driver hours offences, 12 overweight vehicles and various other offences resulting in a total of £2,020 fixed penalty fines.

Also included in the operation were road safety events held in Chelmsford city centre, Asda supermarket in Chelmer Village and Sainsbury’s in Boreham.

Education classes were also held at Essex County Cricket Club for drivers caught not wearing seatbelts.