A 13-YEAR-old girl and her friend were threatened by a group of youths on a train home from Lakeside Shopping Centre.

One of the girl’s mums has told how she was informed of a number which can be discreetly texted if any c2c passenger is feeling unsafe or in trouble on the train.

The south Essex mum said: “My daughter just turned 13-years-old so went on her first train journey without me to spend her birthday money at Lakeside, accompanied by her 13-year-old friend.

"On the journey home, a group of two boys and a girl were very verbally abusive to them, threw things at them and threatened to set fire to their hair.

“Both the boys had lighters and actually went to my daughter and her friend and lit them next to their hair.

“This all happened in broad daylight and was totally unprovoked.

“Just letting other parents know that should this ever happen to your child/yourself there is a text number you can use discreetly to contact the transport police and let them know you’re in trouble and need help.

“Text 61016 and the BTP will assist. I wish I’d known about this beforehand.”

A spokesman for the British Transport Police confirmed the force is investigating the incident, which took place shortly before 5.20pm on Monday.

They said: “We received a report at 5.18pm on Monday, May 6, of threatening behaviour on board a train travelling from Upminster.

“A group of three youths are reported to have verbally abused and acted threateningly two teenage girls.

“British Transport Police officers are currently investigating.”