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Worker stops gunmen in post office robbery bid

28 Jul 2016, 18:27 ... bbery_bid/?

TWO gunmen wearing balaclavas fled empty handed after a brave shop worker thwarted their robbery attempt.

The masked men walked into the Winter Gardens post office, in Central Avenue, Canvey, at about 5.30pm on Tuesday.

They demanded the cashier hand over the contents of the till, while one of them brandished what appeared to be a firearm.

The cashier bravely challenged the pair, who fled empty handed.

No shots were fired and nobody was injured.

One of the men left the scene on a black Honda motorbike seen heading towards Benfleet.

It is not the first time that gunmen have targeted a Canvey store.

A robber armed with a handgun stole hundreds of pounds from the Nisa Freshways store, in Third Avenue, in January.

The unsolved investigation was closed by police after officers revealed they had no more lines of inquiry to investigate.

Dave Blackwell, Canvey Independent Party councillor for the island’s central ward, urged all shops to install a panic button which connects directly to Essex Police.

He said: “You don’t know whether these guns are real or replicas so this cashier has had to take a gamble, but he really shouldn’t have got involved.

“This is getting very worrying. It isn’t an isolated incident on Canvey anymore.

“This is why myself and Conservative councillor Ray Howard are meeting with the police and crime commissioner in the next couple of weeks - we want to highlight the rise of violent crime and robberies.

“I would suggest that every shopkeeper has a panic button, which goes direct to the police so they can respond immediately.”

PC Ian Risden, neighbourhood constable for the Castle Point and Rochford policing team, said his team were carrying out hi-visibility patrols in the wake of the robbery.

He said: “I have got officers down there at the moment to to carry out house to house enquiries and reassurance patrols.

“We are assisting CID with their investigations, which are continuing.”

Staff at the post office refused to comment on the incident.

No arrests have been made and police are appealing for information.

Anyone with information can contact Det Con Rory Scarlett at Southend CID on 101, or Crimestoppers, anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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