SHOP workers are at serious risk following a surge in armed robberies, a councillor has said.

Tesco Express in St Christopher Road was raided by balaclava-clad men on Tuesday night.

One had a hammer and the other a knife- they threatened staff and stole cash but fortunately nobody was hurt.

Ward councillor Julie Young said young shop workers were not safe.

She said: "I'm getting increasingly concerned with the level of crime and I'm particularly concerned about shop workers, many of which are young people who are doing hours at shops in the evenings around their studies.

"They are particularly vulnerable to aggression, I'm really worried about the estate's parade of shops.

"I know we have CCTV cameras but I'm going to make sure they are fully functional as a deterrent."

She said the community also needs to be more vigilant.

She said: "I know times are tough and when that happens we see a rise in crime, but the kind of armed robberies we are seeing are something we clearly need to address.

"I'm concerned there's not enough resources to keep Colchester safe."

She said CCTV has proved very effective in the town centre and wants to see it rolled out across all rural and town centre shops.

She added: "We need to protect both the staff and shoppers and I think we could all perhaps be a bit more vigilant.

"We need to be looking out and giving intelligence to the police."

Police have released CCTV images of the suspects of the Tesco robbery and are asking for help to identify them.

Police said there are no updates yet.