A GROUP of yobs carried out a broad daylight robbery sparking a huge police response with a helicopter. 

Essex Police was called to Station Approach, Braintree, at about 3.40pm last Thursday after receiving reports of a robbery having taken place close to the train station.

Non-armed and armed officers attended the scene and the force said that the individual was approached by a group of four people who stole his bag.

The National Police Air Service helped during the hunt for the four suspects and within 40 minutes of the report, four boys under the age of 18 were arrested on suspicion of robbery.

Braintree and Witham Times: Incident - another area of Station ApproachIncident - another area of Station Approach (Image: Google Maps)

Braintree Central and Beckers Green ward councillor Thomas Diamond has reacted to the incident and offered his sympathy to the victim.

He said: “We are of course shocked by this horrific incident and our thoughts go out to the victim at this difficult time.

“We are incredibly grateful for our brave police officers for dealing with this so quickly.  

“I have reached out to the local police force to see if there is more that can be done to keep all Braintree residents safe on our streets.”

After the incident, Detective Chief Inspector Rob Huddleston said that the force’s officers “responded quickly” and “protected the public”.

He also said: “We appreciate that this is a concerning incident for residents but please be assured that we are working hard to investigate this robbery and hold those responsible to account.”

Braintree and Witham Times: Not happy - Councillor Thomas DiamondNot happy - Councillor Thomas Diamond (Image: Councillor Thomas Diamond)

The investigation is still ongoing and anyone who may have witnessed the robbery is advised to contact Essex Police by dialling 101 and quoting the reference number 718 of April 18.

According to an Essex Police spokesman, the arrested group of boys were in custody but that has now changed.

They said: "all four arrested have been bailed until July 16 while enquiries continue."

This follows on from a separate robbery in Silver End on February 14, where a masked individual holding a metal baton entered the Co-op store in Broadway, demanding staff to open the till.

The criminal left the store with the entire till drawer and its cash contents.

No one was injured during the incident and Essex Police is investigating the incident.