Owners at the site of an illegal rave have said their property was 'hijacked by criminals'.

Essex Police were called to Bellropes on Maldon Road, Bradwell-on-Sea with reports of a large number of people gathering for a party.

Owner Charis Marsden responded to the illegal party saying "For those in any doubt, this was not our event, these were not our guests.

"Our property was hijacked by criminals."

Police responded to reports of anti-social behaviour and a large number of cars blocking Maldon Road.

Videos of the event were captured on Instagram but quickly removed.

Some reports from residents suggested more than 250 were in attendance.

Charis, who was more than four hours away when the party took place said: "Thank you to everyone for their support.

"We are in the process of assessing the damage to Bellropes and the surroundings. We will be saying more soon as and when we can.

"We are absolutely disgusted by the behaviour of all of those that attended and the deceitful way it was organised, not to mention the utter disrespect shown for such a beautiful part of our county.

"Thankyou so much for all the kind messages we have received."

Essex Police attended the scene and remained at the scene until everyone had left.

A spokesperson from Essex Police said: "Essex Police said: "Officers attended and spoke to the organiser.

""They continued to monitor the situation and following continued reports from residents, we spoke to the organiser again at 10.15pm and asked people to leave.

"The party was finished by 10.30pm and officers remained in the area until everyone had left."