A MANHUNT is underway after a man pointed a “gun” at Post Office staff in an attempted robbery.

The man walked into the WH Smith post office branch, in Hamlet Court Road, Westcliff, this morning.

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Witnesses reported the raider was carrying what looked like a gun in a bag which he then pointed at staff in an attempt to rob the shop of cash.

The robbery attempt was unsuccessful and he fled the scene empty-handed before police officers arrived.

A manhunt is now underway to track him down.

Armed officers arrived and cordoned off the shop to secure it and remained on scene throughout the afternoon.

A spokesman for Essex Police said: “We were called to reports of an incident at the Post Office in Hamlet Court Road, Westcliff at around 10.50am on March 14.

“A man went into the Post Office and pointed what has been described as looking like a firearm with a bag over it at staff.

“The man has been described as white, around 5ft 8ins tall, wearing blue jeans, a dark-coloured jacket with a hood, black trainers and a beanie-style hat

“No firearm has been seen.

“We have attended and our enquiries are ongoing.”

This is the second armed incident in Hamlet Court Road this week.

On Monday, two men were arrested after a man was spotted waving a knife near the Rumbling Tum cafe.

Milton ward councillor Cheryl Nevin said extra resources for the town’s second biggest high street would always be welcomed.

The Labour councillor added: “We’ve had big cuts across Essex in terms of policing and although there’s good news on the horizon as some of them are set to be replaced, we will never be back to the numbers we once had years ago.

“Visible policing across the town does obviously help to deter crime and we do have a Community Safety Officer from the council’s team who operates in Hamlet Court Road but we can always do with more resources around that area.

“It’s our second biggest high street and we don’t want residents to feel unsafe.

“I hope they know any concerns or issues can be raised with us and we will take them forward.”

A community police meeting will be held at the Southend and Chalkwell community centre at 7pm on March 20. Everyone is welcome to attend.

If you saw or heard anything about the post office incident, have CCTV or dash cam footage, or have any other information please call us on 101 quoting incident 429 of March 14.

Alternatively, you can contact independent crimefighting charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org

WH Smith did not respond to a request for comment.

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