POLICE have slammed parents for their poor parking outside a pair of schools in Basildon.

Officers visited St Anne Line Catholic Juniors School, in Wickhay, and the neighbouring infants school on Tuesday morning, to give a stern warning and advice to a number of parents parking in “no stopping” zones and on keep clear zig zags.

The issue relates to parents at both schools, with the junior school entering into a scheme with the county council to urge children to walk to school rather than being dropped off.

And headteacher Nathalie Watson admitted she fears parents may not understand until “a child is seriously hurt”.

She said: “It has been going on for a long, long time, probably for as long as the school and houses have been here.

“We get a lot of complaints from residents so over the last year we have been working alongside Essex County Council on the 3PR campaign to get children walking or riding a bike or scooter to school.

“There is a token scheme and it works brilliantly.

“We have contacted parents regularly saying parking is available at Holy Trinity Church.”

She added: “We are doing everything we can to make the area safe, myself and the deputy head are often at the gates telling people they cannot park there

“It is an accident waiting to happen and we see many near missed.

“It was great to see the police, I sometimes think parents won’t understand how serious this is until a child is seriously hurt.”

The Basildon local policing team admitted it is “not crime of the century” but insisted it is very serious.

A spokesman said: “Another lovely but cold morning full of sensible and very well behaved children going to school, I wish I could say the same for a large number of parents I had to stop this morning.

“Despite me wearing a big yellow jacket, parents still decided to park in a dangerous manner, driving fully on the pavement and also on the school entrance right in front of me. While we accept this is not “crime of the century” it still does have the very real potential to cause serious injury or result in a fatality to the pedestrian children.”