CCTV van set to hit Southend streets ahead of tough new rules in city

·2-min read
CCTV van set to hit Southend streets ahead of tough new rules in city <i>(Image: Southend Council / Pixabay)</i>
CCTV van set to hit Southend streets ahead of tough new rules in city (Image: Southend Council / Pixabay)

A CCTV van is ready to hit the streets of Southend and help take on car cruisers ahead of a series of tough new rules being introduced in the city.

On Wednesday, Southend Council’s scrutiny committee discussed a report on a new city-wide public space protection order - giving police and community safety officers powers to find drivers who endanger lives at unauthorised meets.

Senior councillors are hopeful the tough new rules will be in place by Easter, and revealed that the crackdown will be bolstered by a mobile CCTV van to catch offenders and hand out fines.

The new order will allow enforcement officers to deal with a range of offences including antisocial behaviour, dangerous driving and littering, including discarding nitrous oxide cannisters, and drug and alcohol use.

While the order will target seafront cruisers, the problem is causing distress for residents across the city.

Martin Terry, councillor responsible for public protection, said: “They cause just as much noise in Westcliff and other parts of the town as they do on the seafront when they are on their way to the seafront. They bomb down Chalkwell Avenue then race from the Chalkwell shelter to the first speed camera and really cause a lot of upset to residents there.

“It’s an absolute nightmare.

“We’d like to get this in for the forthcoming season and, fingers crossed, we can get it in for the Easter weekend. Just about to hit the road is our new mobile CCTV van and that will be absolutely instrumental in making this work for us and keeping the town safer because they will be able to issue fixed penalty notices as well. That’s going to send a strong message to those who wish to behave antisocially.”

The tough new powers have been long touted to help cut issues in Southend, and were due to be ratified at a meeting last night.

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Daniel Cowan, councillor for St Laurence ward, said: “In St Laurence ward this is a major, major problem. It seems to be a natural racetrack for people going up the A127, Manners Way, round the back of Eastwoodbury Lane to Nestuda Way and then back on to the A127. It seems to be the favourite thing to do and when they are bored of that they park up in Tesco car park, blare their music out, cause a real nuisance and leave a load of litter. I’m sure it’s happening elsewhere.”