A MAN was punched, kicked and threatened with a knife by two teenagers in a botched robbery in an underpass.

The victim, a man in his thirties, was approached by the pair as he walked through an underpass near the Tesco store and Pitsea railway station.

The teens, who were both on bicycles, tried to steal his phone and wallet during the brutal attack.

Despite even threatening him with a knife, nothing was taken and they left the scene empty-handed.

This incident, which happened at about 10pm on Wednesday, September 2, came shortly after the Echo reported how a 49-year-old woman was attacked and robbed of her handbag while she was walking through an underpass leading to Asda Eastgate in Basildon.

A man approached her from behind and pushed her to the floor.

Steve Ward, councillor for the UK Independence Party representing Pitsea Southeast, who is also an ex-police officer, called for more action from Basildon Council to monitor vulnerable areas like underpasses.

He said: “Basildon Council should be coming up with ways to survey areas that are prone to crime.

“The police are very understaffed, they suffered severe funding cuts by the government so there are fewer police patrols around town and neighbourhoods.

“Of course, this leaves a lot of vulnerable areas more unsafe, so local governments will need to come up with ways to protect the public and give residents the confidence that they are in safe hands.

“Underpasses are very unsafe, if something happens no one can hear scream for help, or even see you.”

Mr Ward recommended Basildon Council uses CCTV cameras to monitor patterns of crime in vulnerable areas.

He said: “Basildon Council can put in investment CCTV cameras, with voice recordings, to work out peak times of crime. Of course, there will be costs involved. But with the raising crime rate and terrorism across the country public safety is paramount.

“Since police are low on staff numbers, Basildon Council can assist the police. There are ideas the council can use to source revenue, for example crowdfunding.”

Anyone with any information can call Essex Police on 101.