A pizza delivery man who was robbed at knife-point during an early-hours delivery on Canvey says it would not have happened if the street lights had been on.

The 21-year-old, from Cosmos in Long Road, was nearing the end of his shift when he went to deliver two pizzas to an address in Sydervelt Road.

The victim, who asked not to be named, said he knocked on the door of a house, but got no answer and was then threatened by two men.

He said: “As I turned to go, I saw two guys coming towards me.

“One of them said ‘all right mate’ before demanding I hand over the pizzas.When I saw he had a knife, I just agreed and handed them over.

“The knife was about 12 inches, so I wasn’t going to argue. They asked if I had any money on me, but I didn’t so they turned and left.”

The delivery man said he called the police after he had left and said this was the first time anything like this had happened.

He said: “I felt OK afterwards, just shocked.

“I think if the lights weren’t switched off between 12am and 5am, then these people would be less likely to commit this sort of crime.

“I think there was a lamp post directly outside the address I was robbed at as well.

“I had written to Essex County Council before it happened, explaining my concerns, and now I am even more sure the scheme needs to be re-assessed.”

He said he was not going to take any time off and was already back at work.

He added: “I am self-employed so I need the money.

“I am on an earlier shift this week, but my colleague will be working until 2am and I know he is worried.”

The suspects are white, aged between 16 and 20, about 5ft 6ins to 5ft 9ins tall, and slim. Both were wearing dark hooded tops.

Dave Blackwell, ward councillor, added: “Essex County Council needs to open its eyes. People are taking their lives in their hands.”

An Essex County Council spokeswoman said: “We will not comment on an ongoing police investigation. However we are working closely with the Police and Crime Commissioner and Essex Police on the issue of Part Night Lighting, and will consider any representation made to us by the emergency services.”

Anybody who witnessed the robbery, which took place at about 12.30am on Sunday, March 23, can call Dc Layla Barker at Southend CID on 101.