A GANG of thugs pulled a knife on an 11-year-old and put it to his heart during one of a number of youth-on-youth attacks in Basildon town centre.

Frightened parents claim they are becoming more frequent and more violent and nothing is being done.

In one incident, on Tuesday, a gang of youths are reported to have been shouting out abuse at two young boys as they walked past them at the bus station.

An 11-year-old boy told how one of them punched his friend in the face and pulled a knife out and put it to his heart demanding he hand over his phone saying “or i’ll cut you”.

The boys managed to make a run for it and luckily, a woman intervened and got the boys home.

Sharon Payne, 49, mum of one of the boys, said: “I don’t like my son going through the town centre after school because of it.

“The police know the spots where there is trouble, like the bus station and the train station.

“We need bobbies on the beat and curfews for the kids.

“The police know about all these gangs in town - they’ve been running around for the last three years.”

On Sunday it is claimed a young boy and two girls were walking in the town centre when a member of a gang of youths walked up and punched the child.

Again a member of the public had to step in.

A week previously there was another incident involving weapons and a 25 person brawl, according to witnesses.

Essex Police claimed the incidents are not being reported to them.

Insp Steve Parry said: “We will not tolerate violence by anyone in any part of the district.

“We have a regular visible police presence in the town centre with our town centre team.

“In addition we also carry out plain clothes patrols and work with our partners, such as Basildon Council, and businesses to identify issues taking place in the town centre and tackle them.

“We have a number of powers that we use in a proportionate and effective way such as stop and search and implementing dispersal orders in order to tackle anti-social behaviour and violence.

“Members of the public can also play a really important role to play in reporting incidents or issues when they take place.

“If we don’t know about something, we can’t do anything about it and reporting incidents helps us to build up a picture of what the issues.”

Call 101.