SIX teenagers have been arrested and released on bail after a violent altercation outside the gates of a Grays college.

Police were called to Palmers College, in Chadwell Road, at 2.15pm on Tuesday, after an incident involving 20 to 30 youths.

A 17-year-old, 18-year-old and 19-year-old from Grays and three teenagers from East London, two aged 19 and a 17-year-old were arrested yesterday morning on suspicion of affray.

All six were later released on police bail until Friday, March 21, pending further enquiries.

Three people were injured in the incident and one later attended hospital for treatment.

Police have confirmed they are investigating reports some of the group were carrying weapons. Detectives believe the dispute was relating to a football match on Monday.

The college’s principal, Mark Vinall, has moved to reassure parents.

He said: “Our priority is education and we are keen to reassure parents the college is a safe environment for the students who come here.

“It’s business as usual. College life continues as normal.”

Rumours became rife on social media websites that a gun had been taken to the altercation.

It later appeared the reports were false.

Parents also raised concerns the incident was part of a gang culture at the 2,000- strong college.

Mr Vinall disagreed. He said: “There is no issue of a gang problem. Palmers is a very tranquil environment.

“It’s regrettable when an incident like this happens and rumours spread. People put two and two together and get five.”

A police spokesman said officers had increased patrols in the area.

Anyone with information can call detectives at Grays CID on 101 or call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.