A man holding what appeared to be a handgun has attempted to rob a service station in Essex. 

Police received a call shortly after 11pm on Sunday October 14 after a man entered the Shell service station in High Road, Benfleet, and jumped over the counter holding what appeared to be a black handgun. However, he was then disturbed and ran away empty handed.

He has been described as being white, around 6ft tall and wore a black hoodie, black jogging bottoms and had a black balaclava covering his face. He also carried a black backpack.

Police attended and searched the area but were unable to locate the man.

Anyone with information, CCTV or dash cam footage that could assist the investigation is asked to call Basildon CID on 101 quoting incident 1325 of 15/10.

Information can also be reported online at visiting www.essex.police.uk/do-it-online or can be provided anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.