A college was forced into lock down amid knife and violence fears after a gang of men tried to get into the site without permission.

The four men attempted to gain access to Seevic College, Runnymede Chase, Benfleet at about 1.30pm yesterday.

Scared parents took to social media, reporting the gang was armed with knives and were seeking to attack the students.

But the college has issued a statement, saying this is not the case.

A spokesperson from the college said: "Yesterday afternoon, four people who are not students at USP College attempted to gain access to our Seevic Campus but were quickly challenged and removed by staff.

"The safety of our students and staff is our absolute priority, and as a precaution, we temporarily suspended entry to and exit from the College buildings.

"The College has rigorous policies and procedures in place, and all staff are trained and take accountability in ensuring the College is a safe, secure and welcoming place to study and work.

"The speed at which the trespassers were identified and removed from the campus demonstrates the effectiveness of these measures, and we would like to thank our staff and students for their continued commitment to student safety and wellbeing.

“Our investigations have shown that no weapons or violence were involved.”

Essex Police confirmed that they were called at 1.45pm to reports of a disturbance at a college in Runnymede Chase, Benfleet.

A spokesperson said: "Officers attended and spoke to staff at the school, who confirmed that those responsible had left the building."

They also confirmed that no offences were reported.