FOUR Basildon teenagers have been arrested after reports of a “large disturbance” sees staff assaulted at Lakeside Shopping Centre.

Essex Police received reports of a large-scale disturbance involving a group of teenagers at Lakeside Shopping Centre shortly after 8.05pm last night.

This included reports of individuals assaulting security staff and stealing alcohol from a shop.

Officers were at the scene by 8.10pm, swiftly making enquiries with security staff and making several arrests.

During the course of making these arrests, Essex Police say officers and security staff were assaulted.

This involved punches and kicks being thrown. However, thankfully, no one suffered a serious injury.

A 15-year-old girl, two 14-year-old girls and a 13-year-old girl, all from Basildon, remain in custody for questioning on suspicion of offences including common assault, assaulting an emergency worker and theft.

Chief Insp Tony Atkin, Thurrock district commander, said assaults on security staff and police officers will not be tolerated.

He said: “This incident involved punches and kicks being thrown at officers and staff.

“We take reports of anti-social behaviour and shop theft very seriously, as our quick response to this incident proves.

“My officers are never complacent about the importance of protecting businesses at Lakeside Shopping Centre and supporting security staff.

“Security staff are often first on the scene, but they contact us directly via Shop Safe radio which means we can react quickly to incidents across the Lakeside centre.

“Lakeside is a tight-knit community and it’s the working relationships we all have which means we are able swiftly to identify people of interest and make quick arrests should a crime occur.

“We all want the same thing: to ensure people are safe at Lakeside whether they come here to work, shop, eat or have a night out.

“Assaults on security staff and police officers will not be tolerated and we will take action to ensure those who commit these offences are brought to justice.”