FAMILIES were left horrified after a fight resulted in a knife being pulled at a popular park.

The incident took place in Southchurch Park, Southend, near the cafe in the middle of the afternoon when a group of boys were playing football.

One woman, who will not be named, said on Twitter: “My daughter’s friend were attacked at around 4pm.

“They started beating up one of the poor lads and then pulled a knife out.

“This happened in the middle of the afternoon on a lovely day with families around and yet it still happens.

“Luckily the boy that was attacked is okay apart from bruising, but he was very shaken up.”

The fight was broken up after two men stepped in to help.

One witness said: “We just witnessed a fight in Southchurch Park where a group of boys, girls and a dog attacked these four poor boys who were just playing football.

“My partner and another member of the public went to break it up and they all ran off.

“I was on the phone to the police and I had the poor boy who was beaten up with me. He was attacked for no reason – they just wanted his ball. It was so bad and I was left in so much shock.”

A spokesman for the Southend Parks team responded to the incident on Twitter and said: “This sounds awful. We hope those involved are okay.

"It must have been a horrible experience for them. We will look into this and help with the police as much as we can. Hopefully something was caught on CCTV.”

The incident has left the community shocked and comes days after a huge fight erupted in Chalkwell Park at the weekend.

Stacey Webber, who lives in Victoria Road, Southchurch, said: “I used to take my kids here every day after school and now I have to think twice after hearing about all the incidents there.

“Parks should be a safe space for families to go and enjoy the outdoors but recently, there just seems to be nothing but bad news and it seems like they are just a place for gangs to go.”

A spokesman for Essex Police said: “We were called to reports of an assault in Southchurch Park, Southend.

“It was reported that a teenage boy had been assaulted by a man, believed to be in his 30s. The boy did not suffer serious injuries.

“Our enquiries to locate the group of men are ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to call 101 and quote incident 880 of 21 August.”