POLICE have taped off an area on Southend seafront after a woman reported being raped in toilets.

Officers are said to have cordoned off an area between Hartington Road and Pleasant Road.

A toilet block in nearby Lucy Road is also being guarded by police following the incident.

A police spokesman said: "Police received reports that a woman was raped in Lucy Road, Southend, this morning.

The victim reported that she was raped by a man in the vicinity of public toilets between 3.30am and 4.30am. She has been safeguarded and is being supported by specialist officers.

Police are carrying out forensic examinations at the scene and are reviewing CCTV.

Anyone with information is to contact the Sexual Offences Investigation Team on 101, Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or emailing SOIT@essex.pnn.police.uk."