The area's police chief has warned crime sick residents away from vigilante action ahead of tonight's (September 6) meeting.

Last week residents met at Loughton Club to discuss how to keep the town's streets and children safe following numerous muggings.

Among the potential solutions was the suggestion to form a vigilante force and to paste photos of the suspected offender's faces to lampposts.

With police to attend a follow up meeting two days after five teenagers were robbed of their phones on Roding Road, Chief Inspector Lewis Basford, district commander for Epping Forest, urged residents not to be rash.

He said: “It was incredibly important that everyone at the public meeting in Loughton had the chance to talk about the issues they feel the community is facing.

“At Essex Police, we are against the dangerous practice of vigilantism.

"My officers never really know what they’re walking into when they respond to a 999 call, but they are always equipped with their personal protective equipment and years of professional training, so that they can respond appropriately if a situation escalates.

"Crimes can only be properly reported, recorded and investigated by police officers.

“If you wish to report an emergency please call 999. Alternatively, to report a crime you can call us on 101 or record the incident online at”

The meeting will be held at 7.30pm at the Loughton Club.