AN elderly woman and her granddaughter thwarted masked raiders....but were still waiting for police FIVE days later.

Two men with their faces covered and armed with a crowbar and jemmy approached the family’s home in Fernlea, Colchester, at 1.10pm last Thursday.

The homeowner’s mother, aged in her seventies, was looking after his daughters, who are aged five and seven.

The homeowner, who has asked not to be identified, said: “My mother looked up and saw this balaclava-hooded man peering up at her, because the garden is sloped down. The door was open.

“She was terrified and shut the door immediately and locked everything up.

“My eldest daughter ran to the front of the house and through the window saw two men in black hoodies with grey gloves on running back to the car and it sped off.”

The girl dialled 999 to alert the police before handing the phone to her grandmother.

The youngster also noted descriptions of the men and of their black Audi RS3, driven by a third man.

The dad added: “My eldest daughter is utterly traumatised by it, she won’t sleep.

“My other daughter has been very upset, very clingy.”

However, five days on and the police had still not responded until contacted by the Gazette yesterday.

The dad said: “It was raised as a call and they classed it as a civil trespass and said they wouldn’t do anything.

“I phoned up later. We have CCTV of them breaking in and they said if you send us a link officers might look at it if they need to.”

The CCTV was sent on the same day as the incident.

The dad continued: “Police response is shocking as far as I am concerned.

“At best I would describe it as woefully inadequate. I have had to phone them up, send the email and had to chase them up.”

We asked Essex Police why it had not responded and why the incident was trespass, not burglary.

A statement released at 5.25pm last night read: "We were called at around 1.15pm on Thursday, July 26 with reports of two people with their faces covered in the garden of an address in Fernlea, Colchester.

"The people were disturbed and made off.

"A garden gate had also been damaged.

“The incident was initially incorrectly graded but is now being treated as an attempted burglary.”

“If you have any information please call us on 101 quoting the crime reference number 42/109224/18 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”