THREE teenagers have been arrested after reports of an armed robbery at a tube station in Essex.

It follows reports three young people approached a teenage boy at Loughton station and threatened him with a knife at about 3pm on Thursday.

Armed Essex Police officers responded to the reports and carried out a widespread search alongside colleagues from British Transport Police (BTP).

Three teenage boys were arrested and three knives were seized within 19 minutes of officers being deployed, Essex Police said.

The boys, aged 17, 15, and 14, were taken to custody and questioned on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon and robbery. Further inquiries were quickly carried out and the investigation is now being led by BTP.

Chief Inspector Paul Austin said: “This incident will naturally have caused concern amongst the members of the public who witnessed the police response.

“The stance we take on knife crime is consistent; we don’t tolerate it in Essex, and we will respond accordingly.

“The speed at which this incident was dealt with – with arrests being made within 19 minutes of the officers being deployed – should give our communities confidence.

“We always have officers positioned across the county who are ready to respond to serious and potentially violent incidents accordingly.”