A WOMAN was chased by a man after he had indecently exposed himself to her in a park.

The woman was walking in Shotgate Park, off Southend Road, Shotgate, when she first came across the man who was following her on his bike.

As she walked around the outside path of the park, she then saw the man sitting on a bench committing an indecent act.

As she walked past him, he allegedly asked her to stop and help.

The woman then ran away and the man got on his bike to chase after her. When she reached the gates opposite Fanton Chase he turned around and left.

Police were then called to the scene following the incident, which happened on Tuesday at about 12.40pm.

Despite searching the area, officers were unable to locate the suspect and enquiries are continuing to trace him.

The suspect is reportedly white, aged in his 20s and had dark hair.

Police volunteer Sarah Keevil, 31, of Haslemere Road, Wickford, said she was shocked and appalled by the incident.

Mrs Keevil, who runs the award-winning Crimewatch Wickford Facebook page, said: “I urge people to remain vigilant. Any behaviour you find suspicious you should report it to the police.

“Don’t feel you are wasting police time because if someone is breaking the law it should be reported.

“There are things that people can buy to protect themselves. You can buy little alarm bells in shops, or on eBay. When an incident like this happens you can sound an alarm and alert people around you.

“They don’t cost a lot, and they will help keep you out of danger.” Mrs Keevil said this is the first time she has heard of an incident like this happening in the area.

She said: “Wickford in general is a safe and nice area. This is the first time I’ve heard of something like this happening.

“When you find yourself in these situations, obviously it’s awkward but the instant you feel you’re at risk get away as soon as possible.

“Try and take note of any small details of the person, it could be what they’re wearing and any distinctive physical features. The more details the better. I know it’s easier said than done because you’re in a risky situation.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Basildon police station on 101 or Crimestoppers.