DISRUPTION to traffic was necessary for a day-long operation which saw officers stop dozens of drivers committing offences.

Long queues built on the A12 on the London-bound carriageway on the approach to the Stanway slip road after Essex Police's traffic unit held an operation in Yeomanry Way on Tuesday.

The team - who arrived at the scene before 8am and remained there for most of the day - shut off the right hand lane of the road which prevented people directly accessing the nearby Sainsbury's supermarket and the Tollgate shopping centre.

Two miles of traffic queued at one stage with a broken down vehicle on the slip road adding to the delays.

But a spokesman for Essex Police said their Surround a Town initiative yields good results meaning slight inconvenience for motorists has to be accepted.

He said: "Surround a Town days allow us to focus a massive amount of resource in a very concentrated and geographically targeted area.

"It can have an effect on traffic in the area, but we strive to keep this to a minimum.

The officers arrested one person for being concerned in the supply of drugs, having no insurance, driving otherwise in accordance with a licence and taking of a motor vehicle.

Another arrest was also made in connection with a county court warrant.

Specialist traffic officers also stopped four people who were found to have no insurance, 13 were using a mobile phone, 19 were stopped for excess speed offences, while 15 had no MOT.

There were also 21 people stopped because they weren’t wearing seatbelts and four vehicles were seized.