TWO mums have launched a petition calling for more protection on the streets after their sons were robbed by knife-wielding thugs in an alleyway.

Maggie Kelly, 51, of Peel Avenue, Shoebury, and Wendy Punt, 50, of Elm Road, Shoebury, say that the town’s streets and are calling for more bobbies on the beat to combat knife crime.

Maggie’s son Shaun, 19, and Wendy’s son James, 20, were attacked by men wearing balaclavas in an alleyway near Elm Road, and were shoved to the floor. The thugs threatened the pair with a knife and stole James’ wallet.

The mums are calling on Southend Council to help work to get police the resources needed to make the community safe.

Mrs Kelly said: “We want Shoebury to be safer place to live, I like living here but want it to be a better place to live.

“I want to see our local councillors doing something more to make sure that we get more police on our streets.

Mrs Punt said: “We have been speaking to our local councillors about the issue and we just don’t seem to get any answers from them.” The pair fear that knife attacks are escalating, particularly in light of stabbings in Southend town centre in recent weeks.

So far, more than 100 people have signed the petition. The petition comes after 12 officers were announced for Southend’s policing teams by Roger Hirst, Essex’s police, fire and crime commissioner, after tax increased.

Carl Robinson, director for public protection at Southend Council said: “We are aware of current challenges across the borough and indeed nationally, and work very closely with Essex Police to tackle anti-social behaviour issues in our communities.

“Although the council is not responsible for, and does not control police budgets, senior officers and councillors have regular discussions with senior Essex Police officers, and the Essex Police and Fire Commissioner and his team to discuss local crime and resourcing. We welcome the recent announcement on more front line officers.”

Det Chief Insp Neil Pudney, district commander for Southend, said: “We will continue to maintain high visibility policing within our town centre and proactive initiatives to ensure we prevent knife or violent crime. It is important to note that Southend has been awarded the purple flag for a safe night time economy. This demonstrates that Southend remains a safe and desirable place to live and visit. Recently it was announced that there will be 12 new officers for the Southend area. This means there will be more visible patrols, and we will continue to work with our partner agencies to tackle this complex issue and keep the people of Essex safe.”

To sign the petition visit: