A FRIGHTENED mother was forced to run to safety with her ten-month-old baby after being verbally abused by a teenager she believed to have a knife.

Essex Police were called to Alton Park Road in Clacton just after 3.30pm on Wednesday January 22 following reports that a young woman had been verbally attacked.

The victim is believed to have been walking down the residential street, which joins onto St Osyth Road near Essex Kebabs, with her young baby and another woman.

They then briefly stopped to speak with three teenagers who they apparently recognised.

But one of the boys is said to have suddenly become verbally abusive towards the mother before going to grab what she suspected was a knife.

Instinctively, the two women instantly run away from the group, darting to safety with the ten-month-old baby before reporting the incident to the police.

A spokesman for Essex Police said: “We were called shortly after 3.30pm on Wednesday 22 January, with reports that a woman had been verbally abused by a teenage boy in Clacton.

“The woman, aged in her late teens, was walking along Alton Park Road with her baby and another woman, stopping to talk to three teenage boys they knew.

“It was reported that one of the teenage boys became verbally abusive and reached for what the woman believed was a knife.

“The two women and the baby ran to safety and the incident was reported to police.

“No threats were made.”

St James ward councillor, Maurice Alexander, strongly condemned the attack and called for the police to be given a wider scope for dealing with knife crimes.

He said: "I speak on behalf of myself and councillor Chris Griffiths when I say this kind of behaviour is completely unacceptable and we do not accept this.

"We need a stronger police force to deal with knife crimes and must give them the extra powers to do so.

"We do not want this behaviour in our ward and I hope this won't happen again. we will do whatever it takes to stand against and fight it.

"Our thoughts go out to the victims and I would like to say that we are here for them if they need any help."