The Kilwinning community has rallied round after a woman was robbed in an underpass – the second reported mugging there in two months.

Residents have since expressed their outrage over the incident – with two brave girls who came to the woman’s aid praised by a Kilwinning councillor.

At around 5.45pm on Saturday, a 55-year-old woman was walking through the underpass in Pennyburn Road, Kilwinning,when she was approached by a man who grabbed the plastic bag she was carrying and made off with it towards Sundrum Place.

Two teenage girls came to the aid of the lady - who was uninjured but very distressed by the robbery - and called the police.

The next day a Kilwinning councillor organised a gathering at the underpass via social media for residents to suggest what could be done to improve safety.

Suggestions have included installation of CCTV, better lighting and trimming of undergrowth.

Councillor Scott Davidson said: “I first heard of it on Saturday evening, I found out what I could then logged it as an issue with the council the next day. One of my family members was the victim of an assault recently so I understand how people feel.

“We all have friends and family who use that underpass so it’s in everybody’s interest to make it as safe as we can.

“Everyone wants to know what we can realistically do to improve public safety and nobody knows what a town needs more than the people who live there.

“Some of the ideas included mobile CCTV on lampposts, trimming back some of the bushes and looking at the route the path takes – maybe it would be better if the path came along the front of the trees by the roadside.

“Network Rail own the tunnel and the council owns either side of the tunnel, so basically we need to have some multi-agency meeting and see what we can come up with.

The SNP councillor added: “I’d really like to commend the two young girls who went to the aid of the woman on Saturday, and made her know she wasn’t alone.

"All too often people think youngsters are up to no good but we seldom hear of the many good things they do.”

The suspect is described as white, 21-30 years of age, medium build, with a dark complexion and brown stubble, and wearing a dark grey/washed out black hooded top that had writing on the back (NFD) and dark coloured tracksuit bottoms.

Any information can be passed to police via 101. Please quote incident number 3203/09/09/17 when calling. Alternatively, details can be give anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.