A man has been released on bail after a car chase involving two police forces and a helicopter.

The Met Police tried to stop the Ford Fiesta near Chigwell at about 10.30pm on Saturday, but the driver sped off.

Officers from the Met and Essex Police chased the car on the ground and by helicopter through Stapleford Abbotts, Havering-atte-Bower, Coxtie Green, Brentwood and Kelvedon Hatch.

The car ended up in Ongar, where it smashed into parked cars in a drive in St James's Avenue at about 11pm.

Amanda Tester, 63, who lives next to the drive at the end of the cul-de-sac, said: “We were watching a film at about 11pm in the front room and there was a crash.

“We have blinds and could see police lights through them and there was a helicopter for a short time.

“It looked like about four police vehicles, all with flashing lights.

“The police showed brilliant driving skills – when they stopped, there was a two inch gap between the police car and the other car.”

She said the Fiesta had damaged three cars in the drive.

A 24-year-old man of no fixed address was arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving, failing to stop for police and having a knife in a public place.