A protest has been held outside a gift shop selling fake guns and large knives.

Marchers on a peace demonstration raised concerns with the shop owner about him having the items in the window for sale despite a ten per cent rise in violence in Southend.

Protesters in the “More love, more peace” march, which started at 1pm on Saturday in Southend High Street chanted outside the Gaiety Bazaar gift shop on Pier Hill.

Southend rapper Sonny Green, 23, who led Saturday’s march said: “I just don’t understand the need for a gift shop to be selling all different kinds of knives, as well as air rifles and other recreational firearms such as paintball guns.

“These aren’t gifts, at least not to to me. While we have crimes like these happening on our streets, I don’t think there’s a place for them to be seen as a bit of fun.”

The owner of the shop, who did not want to be named, said that they had been selling many of the knives and air rifles for around 40 years.

He also pointed out knives and potential weapons could be bought at a number of supermarkets and DIY stores, and that they always carefully asked for proof of identification.