An 18-year-old was threatened with a knife during a traumatic robbery in a Southend park.

The incident happened between 8pm and 8.30pm at the East Street entrance to Churchill Gardens, Southend, on Monday evening.

The teenager was grabbed from behind by the throat and threatened, before being forced to hand over his driving licence, money, bus pass and phone, which the attacker then shattered by stamping on.

After the attack, the victim ran to his friend’s car which was still parked close to the park’s entrance, where they dialled 999.

The victim’s father, who did not want to be identified, said: “We’ve heard a lot about knife crime in the area recently, but it doesn’t really sink in until you find yourself in that position.

“My son isn’t a shy or timid person, but this has really shaken him to the point that he’s afraid to go out.”

The victim’s father has also criticised the lack of response from Essex Police, who informed his son that they were not able to attend immediately after the incident but that an officer would be in touch the following day.

He said: “I know the police are busy and they can’t be blamed for that, but this has been really difficult for us. The attack could very easily have had a different ending, and that will always play on your mind.”

The victim is also a student at South Essex College, close to the site of the fatal stabbing of Fabian Kacica, 19, on May 14.

The victim’s father said: “We feel lucky that it wasn’t worse, but it is frustrating to see the problem and feel as though there isn’t enough being done to tackle it.”

A spokesperson from Essex Police said: “Officers are investigating after a man was robbed in Churchill Gardens, Southend.

“The man has been described as black, had a beard, and wore a red puffed jacket with dark-coloured jogging bottoms.

“We are appealing for any witnesses to call 101 and ask for Southend CID with reference number 1314 of 12/05.

“Alternatively, you can contact the Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111 or use the online form at”