RACIST graffiti scrawled across the seafront at Thorpe Bay has shocked residents and visitors alike.

The unknown graffiti artist has covered a tram shelter, posters and a popular viewpoint with racist symbols, scribbled in black marker.

A Nazi swastika has been drawn across the face of a poster advertising a Charley Pride gig at Westcliff’s Cliffs Pavilion, and the neo-Nazi white power symbol can be seen on the tram shelter near Thorpe Hall Avenue.

Bob Craven, chairman of the Tram Stop Shelter charity, said: “Any graffiti that has anything racist or homophobic is totally unacceptable to us.

“As an organisation, we welcome all groups of people without exception. Any graffiti on the shelter is one piece too many, but I find this quite appalling.”

Vandals also scrawled obscenities on a barrier and a racist term has been written across the Foreshore Nature Reserve viewpoint near the tram stop.

A passerby, who did not wish to be named, photographed the graffiti.

He said: “I’m on a break from East London and it was a nasty shock to see such graffiti.

“It is appalling, but I know it is not representative of the Southend area, and such views have no place in 2015.”

The incident has been reported to Essex Police and Southend Council.

A council spokesman said: “Incidents of graffiti of a racist or obscene nature will be removed within 24 hours of being reported.”

Steve Goodsell, manager for education charity Show Racism the Red Card’s southern branch, based in Southend, said: “Unfortunately there is still a minority of these racist views out there and the people who did it may not really believe these things. They are just trying to make a shock statement, or it could be linked to the run-up to the election.

“We do not tolerate it. We abhor it and I know most right-minded people in Southend feel the same way, and long may that be the case.

“We would like to find out who these people are and put them in a room with some of our educators who are ex-footballers who have experienced racism. We are not here to lecture, but we want to challenge their opinions.”

Essex Police confirmed they are investigating the incident and ask for anyone with information to call them on 101.