RESIDENTS fear someone will be killed if motorists are not stopped from parking on pavements in Rayleigh, a public meeting was told.

The concerns were put to Roger Hirst, Essex’s police and crime commissioner, at a public meeting held in the Rayleigh Town Council chamber on Thursday.

Chief Insp Glenn Westley, Castle Point and Rochford district commander, also attended the meeting to hear residents’ views.

Cheryl Roe, town councillor for Trinity ward, said as more officers appeared to be out on patrol because new mobile phones have freed them up, they could be used to deal with the problem.

She said: “Why can’t the police work with us in response to parking on pavements? They are blocking wheelchairs and blocking pushchairs.

“It really isn’t good enough, we really have to work together.”

Mr Westley said parking is the responsibly of the local authority and “being brutally honest” he would not divert officers from other tasks to look into parking.

He said: “It’s just something that in terms of policing priorities has dropped down the list.”

However, Mr Hirst said each incident should be reported online so police can “build a picture” of what is happening.

Another resident said: “Someone is going to be killed eventually. It’s becoming a habit in the community and if you go out in any road there is some twit who is two-thirds on the pavement.”

Laureen Shaw, councillor for Roche North and Rural, asked whether members of the Rayleigh speedwatch group could pass on details of motorists using their mobile phones so police could send out a warning letter.

She said: “I have been advised that we can’t take the registration numbers because there is no video to prove it. Is there any way you could send a letter to say ‘stop it’?”

Mr Westley said he would look into whether the force would be allowed to send the letters.

Members of the public also raised concerns about grant funding being withdrawn for late-night taxi marshals.

Mr Westley said the grants were not a police matter but officers will continue to focus on Rayleigh.

He added that Canvey “also has a vibrant night-time economy”.

In response to a question about more armed police being deployed at Southend Airport Mr Hirst said he welcomed the decision but did not want to see too many armed officers on the streets.