DETECTIVES are urging residents to be vigilant following a spate of robberies after people have withdrawn money from cash machines in Clacton.

The warning comes following three incidents in the Old Road area in little over 24 hours.

It has been reported that two men have been targeting people using cash machines and threatening them into handing over the money they have withdrawn, sometimes with the use of a knife.

The first incident happened in Old Road on Tuesday at around 3.45am.

The second happened in the same road shortly after midnight on Wednesday and the third happened in nearby Severn Road at 3.30am that day.

Det Con Hollie Hughes, from Clacton CID, said: “We would ask that you remain vigilant when withdrawing money.

“We have increased patrols of the area and are urging anyone with CCTV, or who may have witnessed anyone acting suspiciously, to get in touch."

The first man has been described as in his mid-20s over 6ft tall, white, skinny with dark hair and wearing an all grey tracksuit.

The second man has been described as aged between 30-35 years old, short and of a large build with spiky hair light brown hair.

He has been seen wearing a short sleeved top, jeans and white trainers.

St John's ward councillor Mark Stephenson said he was concerned about an apparent increase in robberies in Clacton. 

He said: "In recent weeks we've had a knifepoint robbery at the nearby Magdalen Green Post Office in Old Road, a robbery of a man in the street in Douglas Road and now these robberies after people have withdrawn cash.

“It is becoming quite concerning and I would reiterate the police's warning that people should be vigilant, especially when walking at night or when using ATM machines.

"These knifepoint robberies must have been terrifying and I welcome the police's pledge to carry out extra patrols in the area."

A 14-year-old boy and two 17-year-old boys were arrested on suspicion of robbery in relation to the incident in Douglas Road and were released on bail until August 30.

Anyone with information about the robberies in Old Road and Severn Road is asked to call Clacton CID on 101 quoting crime reference 42/125537/19 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.