A woman was mugged underneath CCTV cameras which she was later told were not working.

Sarah Woods, 35, was sat in her parked car in the council-run car park in Lower Queens Road, Buckhurst Hill, when two men approached her Mini Cooper from either side and pulled the doors open on January 3.

One young Asian man grabbed her handbag from the passenger seat while the other attempted to distract her.

Miss Woods, who was screaming for help, got out of her car to try to get belongings back.

She said: “One of them was circling me.

“It was really frightening. I was screaming for help but there was no one around.”

Miss Woods said another Asian man was waiting for the other two parked close to the bottle bank in a dark Nissan with the letters FR at the beginning.

Following her ordeal, Miss Woods, of High Road, Buckhurst Hill, called the police.

This week, she received a letter from them stating that after speaking with Epping Forest District Council, the police had been made aware that the CCTV was “out of order” that day.

Miss Woods said she was seriously worried for the safety of young women who park in that car park.

“If that CCTV had been working they would have got the car they were in,” she added.

“They take money to park there and wardens are always checking cars and the CCTV doesn’t work.

“It’s just awful.”

The Guardian is attempting to contact the council for information over the CCTV.