Three men have pleaded guilty to a robbery in Southend where officers arrived on scene in less than a minute after viewing CCTV on their police smartphones.

Donamichie Scarlett, 23, of Daniels Road, Peckham, and Akiff Ali, 20, of Mannin Road, Romford, pleaded guilty to robbery at Basildon Crown Court on Friday, April 13.

Ervin Balliu, 20, of Medici Close, Ilford, admitted robbery and being in possession of a knife in a public place. 

All three are due to be sentenced at Basildon Crown Court on Friday, May 4.

At around 4.40am on Saturday, January 20, a man was walking in Lucy Road when Ali ran up to him and wrestled him to the ground. 

Balliu and Scarlett assisted Ali in holding the victim down before they took a three-figure sum of cash out of his pocket.

Shortly before the incident, two officers had been viewing council CCTV at the scene using their mobile phones. 

They responded and arrested all three men following a foot chase. Balliu was then found to be in possession of a lock knife.

Investigating officer Dc Andrew Coles, of Southend CID, said: “This case is a fantastic example of how we use our mobile phones to respond to live incidents. 

“We were able to arrive at the scene and make these arrests in less than a minute.

“I hope this outcome offers some justice to the victim, who had done nothing more than leave a nightclub following a night out with friends.”

In October 2016, we issued 2,000 new smart phones to officers through our Mobile First programme.

These phones provide ‘apps’ that allow our officers to access local CCTV to view as-it-happens footage.