STONE-THROWING yobs are putting lives at risk by targeting moving buses.

Police are investigating after a number of bus windows were smashed by rocks in Tiptree.

It is claimed the same group of children have repeatedly broken windows as buses travelled through the village.

The 75 bus service from Colchester to Maldon has been targeted at least three times.

The first attack took place on Thursday, January 9 at about 7.45pm in Church Street.

The second happened a day later at about the same time.

The latest incident is believed to have happened last Wednesday at around 4.16pm.

First Colchester operations manager Steve Hartman: “We experienced the incidents when objects were thrown at buses travelling in the Tiptree area, causing damage to several bus windows.

“Thankfully no serious injuries were sustained by travelling passengers and we are working with the police to determine who was involved in the incidents.”

A member of staff at First Buses, who asked not to be named, says the vandals are putting lives at risk.

He said: “The bus wasn’t broken into – it was just some kids smashing the windows.

“I took the photos to show what the kids in Tiptree keep doing.

“It’s happened three times now. Eight kids smashed the windows with rocks and stones.

“My team are fed up with glass everywhere. When we have to sort it out it can be dangerous for us.

“The staff are not happy that the buses keep getting smashed. In the long run prices will go up because of costs.”

He added: “An engineer nearly had an accident when rocks were thrown at the bus he was taking out to a breakdown and he had to swerve.

“I fear that next time it could be fatal.”

An Essex Police spokesman said: “We are investigating after buses were damaged in Tiptree.

“It was reported stones were thrown at the number 75 First Bus in Church Road at around 7.45pm on January 9, damaging windows and leaving a passenger with cuts.

“A second incident was reported at the same location at 4.30pm on January 15.

“We are liaising with First Bus, have increased visible patrols in the area, and our investigations are ongoing.”

Anyone with any information about the incidents is urged to call the police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.