A POLICE force has launched an investigation and placed plain-clothed officers on patrol after two young girls reported being harassed while walking home from school.

Essex Police was called on October 8 after being told two men had been acting suspiciously towards two girls in and around the Skelmersdale Road area in Clacton.

Having spoken with the 11-year-old school friends, officers are now working to gather CCTV footage and say their inquiries are ongoing.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

A spokesman for Essex Police said: “We will always investigate reports of this kind and it’s right that people call us if they have a concern.

“We have put a number of measures in place to ensure we look at all reports that come in.

“We have plain clothed and uniformed officers conducting patrols in the area.

“Other than these two reports, we have not received any other calls relating to people acting suspiciously around children in this area.”

According to the concerned mum of one of the girls, the incident occurred outside the Clacton train station, while the two friends were saying goodbye to each other on opposite sides of the street.

She said at one point her daughter’s friend was apparently grabbed from behind by a man, so she instinctively rushed across the road and “kicked him in the crotch”.

Speaking anonymously, the mum said: “Both girls ran towards my home while on the phone to me and I met them and called the police to report it and walked her friend home so I knew they were safe.

“I didn’t know how to feel.

“I was in shock and was just trying to concentrate on making sure the girls were safe.

“My daughter was scared and upset for her friend and she kept crying all night.”

Four days later, the mum says her daughter was confronted with a similar situation in a similar area.

She said her daughter was walking her friend home from school, which they both attend, when a man came behind them before running off.

The mum added: “I feel like the school and the police should both release a safety report to make everyone aware.

“I also think that schools should teach basic self-defence as standard so that children feel like they can keep themselves safe.”

Anyone with information about reports should call the police on 101 or alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via the website on crimestoppers-uk.org.