SCENT-DRIVEN police officers responding to a coastal village break-in had to call in fire crews after noticing the worrying smell of gas.

Essex Police were called to an address in Beach Way, Jaywick, shortly after 12.50pm on Monday following reports of a suspected burglary.

Upon arrival it was established the inside of the building had been badly damaged and officers instantly became concerned about gas and water leaks.

The force made the decision to request the assistance and advice of firefighters, who attended the scene and made the property safe.

A spokeswoman for the Essex Fire Service added: “Firefighters were called to the address by the police, who noticed the smell of gas.

“On arrival, the crew isolated the gas supply internally then requested Cadent be contacted to isolate externally.”

One Jaywick resident, who was driving towards her home when she noticed the emergency services, says the incident resulted in traffic disruption.

Speaking anonymously, she said: “There was a gas leak at the Post Office end of the Broadway and there were two fire engines and police in attendance.

“The road was taped-off on the one-way system, so I had to get home using Gorse Way as a short cut.”