A WOMAN who was terrified by a man who allegedly threatened to stab her as she walked her dogs in a park claims police told her it was “not a crime”.

The dog owner said she was in Goolwa Park in Port Seton at about 5.30am when she was approached by the man, who was walking two dogs and carrying a large stick.

She told Cockenzie and Port Seton Community Council’s meeting on Tuesday that he immediately started swinging the stick at her, striking her seven-month-old puppy and then launched a “disgusting” verbal attack.

She said: “The things he was saying to me were disgusting.

“He told me I would be lucky to be raped and threatened to stab me.

“He was filming me on his mobile phone as well.

“No one else was around, I was terrified. I tried to get away but he followed me, waving his stick at me trying to strike me.”

The woman said she called police when she got home and later received a call from an officer based at Musselburgh Police Station.

But she claimed that he told her there was nothing they could do and no crime had been committed.

She said: “He was very dismissive and told me it was my word against this man’s and no crime had been committed.

“I have since been approached by others who have had similar encounters with the man involved and even been told the dog warden was chased from his home when she tried to speak to him.”

A community police officer at the meeting was asked why the December 18 incident was not included in the police report to the community council, which details incidents of note over the last month.

He confirmed that he had noted it on the log but said: “The details on the log are sparse, it was not recorded as a crime.”

Another woman at the community council said she had a similar experience with the same man in August last year which had left her too frightened to walk her dogs in Port Seton.

Fighting back tears, she told members that the man had struck her pet and threatened her with violence as she walked in the same park.

She said: “I was with a friend and had other witnesses in the park at the time.

“I contacted the police but they did not want the contact details of the others who witnessed it.

“They said they would speak to the man but have not come back to me to let me know what happened. He walks past my house regularly and now knows I reported him.

“I am too frightened to walk in Port Seton. I have to drive elsewhere to walk the dogs now.”

Ward councillor Fiona O’Donnell was horrified by the accounts from the two women.

She said: “Any threat of rape is a serious threat.”

The community officer said that while an unwitnessed incident would be difficult to prove, the emergence of other similar incidents could provide evidence for action.

He spoke to the women in private following the meeting.

East Lothian Council confirmed that it was aware of concerns about the behaviour of the man.

A spokesperson said: “A number of complaints have been received about an individual in Cockenzie making verbal threats to others.

“The council’s Safer Communities Team are working with Police Scotland on this matter and investigating the complaints.”

Police Scotland confirmed they had received a complaint about  their handling of the original complaint about the incident.

A Police Scotland spokeswoman said:  “On Saturday, December 30, 2017, we received a complaint regarding Police Scotland’s initial investigation into a dispute between two dog walkers at Poplar Park, Port Seton, on the morning of Monday, December 18, 2017.

“We are currently engaging with the complainer and enquires are ongoing into the original issue.”