Police were called after a group of tourists taking pictures of a seafront were wrongly accused of being paedophiles.
Essex Police were called to Marine Parade, Southend, on Friday after reports that members of the public had confronted and detained three Greek tourists.
Trouble had flared after a group confronted the tourists because some children happened to be in the pictures they were taking of some fountains.
A police spokesman said: "The photographs were reviewed by officers who found no offences had been committed."
News of the incident spread on social media with one user posting that a "paedophile ring" had been "smashed".