POLICE are hunting a masked gang of thugs after a man was robbed in a late-night attack.

The victim, a man in his 20s, was walking down York Road, Southend, on Sunday night with a friend.

A gang of boys and men got out of a small silver car and approached the pair as they walked down the road.

The victim was assaulted and has his phone, money and cigarettes stolen.

The extent of his injuries are not known at this time and it is understood the friend was uninjured

The group have been described as three teenage boys and two men who were slightly older and of mixed race.

After the attack, which took place at about 10.50pm on Sunday night, the gang fled down York Road towards Southchurch Hall Park.

All of the group were wearing balaclavas and black tracksuit trousers.

Essex Police have launched an appeal to trace the gang responsible and are urging any members of the public to get in touch with information.

If you saw anything, have any CCTV or dash cam footage or have any other information which could help, call Essex Police on 101 quoting incident 1353 of September 15.

Alternatively, you can call independent crimefighting charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

You can also share information online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org/give-information