UPDATE: Essex Police have now confirmed they are investigating reports of a serious sexual assault. 

A spokesman for the force said: “We are investigating after receiving reports of a serious sexual assault in Colchester.

“It was reported to us late yesterday evening, Tuesday 21 June. Our enquiries are ongoing.”

READ THE LATEST >> Man, 23, arrested on suspicion of rape in Colchester amid police probe


CONCERN is growing among residents after police cordoned off a footpath which is reportedly known for being a hotspot for attacks.

Essex Police officers have been stationed in Berechurch Road since at least 5.30am today and were still at the scene at just before 10am.

The force has closed off a footpath which the Gazette understands is located near the third turning off Mersea Road and runs alongside the Merville Barracks.

It is currently unknown why the police have put the cordon in place but speculation is mounting as a result.

Marg Morris, who lives nearby, said: “I have no idea why they are there but they were at 5.30am and still there an hour later.

“I was on my way to pick up a friend and there was only one police car, but I was shocked and worried because there have been sexual assaults on that path before.”

Another resident, who asked to remain anonymous, said he also clocked the police presence earlier this morning when he left for work.

He said: "I didn't hear anything from mine but I saw the police were parked up.

"If I am honest something always seems to be happening - it's Colchester. But I have never felt unsafe."

Essex Police have been contacted for more information.