A NUMBER of drivers caught sight of a substantial police escort passing through Herefordshire yesterday (Wednesday) morning.

The vehicles were seen in convoy heading towards Ledbury from Hereford.

The operation was believed to have been a safety and security exercise undertaken by Essex Police.

Nishan Wijeratne, press officer at Essex Police, said that military jets were deployed from RAF Coningsby and the exercise was due to last until tomorrow (Friday).

"There is no threat to the public and no need to be concerned," he said.

"The exercise has been a year in the planning and is just part of ongoing national emergency planning procedure testing."

He added: "The exercise involves other agencies and is being carried out in accordance with the Civil Contingencies Act.

"This exercise forms an integral part of a national training programme and is a necessary and important test of contingency plans.

"It provides invaluable training and experience for all participants."