PARENTS and young children had a lucky escape after stone-throwing yobs smashed a bus window.

The safety glass in the side window of the number was splintered as 29 Arriva bus travelled between Wen-ham Drive and Gains- borough Drive, Southend.

Passengers leapt off the bus after the driver stopped in Fairfax Drive at 1.10pm on Tuesday, and gave chase to a gang of teenage yobs who were spotted throwing the stones.

They saw one of the boys, who is thought to be the ringleader, run into a house and then told police where he was.

Officers have arrested a 13-year-old boy on suspicion of criminal damage.

Matt Halton, 49, lives in Fairfax Drive and went to investigate after the bus made the unscheduled stop outside his house.

He said: “There were babies and children sitting behind that window and it could have been really dangerous.

“The bus was pretty full and everyone was stood about on the pavement looking concerned. The driver was quite shocked.

“You don’t expect things like this to happen, but it’s because the kids have nothing to do around here.”

Sgt Les Hawkins, at Leigh police station, said youngsters need to be aware of the consequences of their actions and the fact they could get arrested.

He said: “The possible implications of throwing stones at a bus don’t bear thinking about. Even at low speeds, a distracted bus driver could easily hit another vehicle, pedestrian or house.

“With the school holidays there is more chance of things like this happening.

“It’s just a case of making youths aware there are things to do in the town.

“A number of passengers chased a couple of kids and identified a house that one of them went into. Officers then made an arrest.”

Martin Terry, Independent councillor for West-borough ward applauded the passengers’ actions.

He said: “It’s that type of community spirit we need to see.

“The youths don’t have enough to do and we need more funding for children’s activities.”

Anyone with any information who has not yet spoken to police can call officers at Leigh police station on 0300 3334444.