Retailers in Essex are being asked by local police to ban people wearing hooded tops from their premises.

Police in Colchester and Witham are both launching operations to cut down on people using such tops to hide their identity.

The initiatives come after the Kent shopping centre Bluewater recently banned ‘hoodies’.

Sue Beard, who runs the S&K Supermarket in Colchester, said: “Gangs of youths hanging around outside are usually wearing these tops. It makes you very wary.”