A MAN claimed he was shot with an air rifle before being pelted with eggs by yobs in a Transit van.

Police are investigating reports that a group of men in a white van drove past and terrorised the 50-year-old man in Wickford.

It was also reported that the group threw eggs in his face.

The victim says the impact was so strong, he believes a catapult may have been used.

A spokesman for Essex Police, said: “A 50-year-old man reported he was walking along Cranfield Park Road, Wickford, at 7pm on Monday, November 4, when someone in a white panel van threw eggs at him.

“He was also hit with an unknown object, which caused a small cut to his ribs.

“Enquiries are ongoing.”

The man has also taken it upon himself to ask staff in Tesco, at The Wick, not to see eggs to children over the Halloween period.

The attack comes after a series of similar incidents in the area.

Two teenagers from Billericay were arrested last month for smashing car windows in Wickford and Billericay using a catapult.

During the summer, teenagers were reported to have been wreaking havoc in Wickford by throwing eggs at cars and pedestrians.

Residents are calling for more CCTV and police patrols at night in the area following the spate of recent attacks.

Councillor Don Morris said: “It is absolutely appalling that anybody can’t walk the streets safely, and how such a dangerous act happened to this poor person.

“When the Conservative council were in control last year, we put money into the budget for extra police so we are hoping there will be more police on our streets soon.

“We are well aware that people don’t feel safe on the streets which is why we decided to put in for extra police rather than cut council tax.”

When asked whether CCTV would help deter mindless criminals, Mr Morris explained what that would involve.

He added: “With CCTV you have to know where exactly to put it and you have to get people to monitor them.

“Police on the streets is equally deterrent than CCTV.”