FOUR teenagers have been arrested on suspicion of robbery and possession of an offensive weapon.

The teenage boys aged 14, 15 and 17 have been arrested alongside an 18-year-old man.

They were arrested after a boy reported being chased and threatened by a group in Colchester.

Police were alerted to reports of a boy having been robbed close to High Woods Country Park shortly after 4.30pm yesterday, Sunday, June 9.

Initial reports suggested some of the group were carrying knives.

The victim was able to get to a safe place and officers were quickly on the scene, but initial searches of the area did not locate any suspects.

Armed officers were sent to the city centre and then carried out a further search and found a number of people near the St Botolph’s roundabout who matched the descriptions given by the victim.

The suspects were taken into custody for questioning.

Det Insp Paul Olney said: “The arrests of the four young people took place quite publicly in Colchester so this may have understandably caused some concern among the community.

“However, when an incident calls for such a response, we make no apologies for deploying our expert armed officers to meet the threat which is reported to be posed – no matter what the age of the suspected perpetrators.

“Thankfully, in this instance each of the arrests were made safely and robustly and our enquiries around the incident are likely to continue into this evening.”