Police are investigating after a woman reported that she had been raped in a Braintree alleyway in the early hours of this morning.

Three police cordons remain up in Braintree town centre following the incident.

The cordons are up in School Walk, near Sainsbury’s and behind The Lounge and Subway.

An Essex Police spokesman said: “Police are investigating an allegation of serious sexual assault following an incident in an alleyway in Braintree in the early hours of this morning.

“A woman in her forties was assaulted in an alleyway next to The Lounge.

“The incident was reported to police at 2.55am this morning, but is believed to have happened about an hour before.

“The victim is being supported by specially trained officers and enquiries are continuing.”

Anyone with any information which could help the investigation is urged to call police on 101.