A STASH of cash, drugs and a knuckleduster were discovered in Halstead after police stepped up patrols.

Officers took to the streets after concerns were raised about the level of policing around the town and problems with anti-social behaviour during a public meeting.

On Tuesday the town was being patrolled by officers, supported by volunteer Special Constables before a police chase at around 8pm between Trinity Street and Kings Road.

A teenager was later arrested and subsequently charged.

A spokesman for Essex Police said: "Police have charged a boy with obstructing a police constable and possession of an offensive weapon following an incident in Halstead.

“Officers attempted to stop a boy in Trinity Street at around 8pm on Tuesday, September 12.

“A suspect ran off and was detained following a short foot chase."

It is alleged he was found in possession of a knuckleduster.

The police spokesman continued: "A 16-year-old from Braintree was charged today and is due to appear at Chelmsford Youth Court on Friday, September 29.

“He was also charged with possession of drugs with intent to supply and has been released under investigation.”

During the meeting police and crime commissioner Roger Hirst and Chief Insp Craig Carrington, district commander for Braintree, were told by members of the public about their concerns.

Chief Insp Carrington said: "Our special constables were on patrol on Tuesday night, and that patrol included a sweep of Halstead. We acted on the community concerns raised at public meeting.

“We hope this shows that we do react directly to the concerns raised by the community and we will continue to do so.”