A Southend fire crew has got into trouble after a firefighter wrapped two children in cling film.

Images shared online show the kids being wrapped in cling film by their father and his colleague.

The firefighters have insisted it was just “for a laugh”.

Essex Fire Service opened an investigation into the incident after the photos were put online. The children’s mum has since insisted the stunt was just a “joke”.

The mother, who is not being named to protect the privacy of the children, was the only other person present at Southend fire station.

She said: "I can see that this was not an appropriate activity, and we should not have played around like this at the fire station."

Images of the children being wrapped up at Southend fire station in Essex were posted on Facebook which led to a complaint from a 'concerned party'.

Chief Fire Officer Adam Eckley confirmed someone had "raised concerns" over the images which were taken two weeks ago.

Mr Eckley said: “Our Fire Stations are community properties, and sometimes families of our firefighters bring their children to the station at weekends.

“While we encourage this family spirit, our Fire Stations are still a workplace, and we expect the behaviours on stations and across all our sites to reflect our Service values and exemplify professionalism.

“The photos we have seen have raised concerns, we have liaised with the appropriate statutory agencies and a thorough investigation and process has now started. We believe that no harm was caused to the children, and that the parents were present throughout the event.

“Our Fire and Rescue Service is trusted within the county, and we’re proud of the work we do to protect and save lives in the communities we serve.

“The Firefighters involved are embarrassed and regretful of how this event has been interpreted. This is a standalone incident, and not reflective of the professionalism and diligence our firefighters display. It does not give the right impression to our public, and it is not who we are.

“Essex County Fire and Rescue Service is proud of our employees and the work we do to make Essex a safe place to live, work and travel.”

The crew will be on "core duties" only while the investigation is underway.

Roger Hirst, the police, fire and crime commissioner for Essex, said: "I am clear that the behaviour shown in these photos is inappropriate and requires a thorough and robust investigation."