A dedicated town centre squad costing a £250,000 could be employed to reduce antisocial behaviour.

Southend Council’s cabinet will be asked to agree a plan to recruit five new community safety officers together with a team leader.

The role would involve patrolling the town centre and follows concerns about the behaviour of rough sleepers, street drinkers and antisocial behaviour associated with drug related crime.

Police officers are also being assigned to the town centre as part of Operation Reflex.

Two specialist officers will be tasked with targeting violent crime in addition to the usual policing.

It follows the murder of retail worker Fabian Kacica, 19, who died from a stab wound to the chest after a disturbance broke out by Forum library.

A public meeting and two marches were held by worried residents already concerned by the lack of a deterrent in the area.

The council’s new team would compliment the police team.

The team would also work alongside other existing council and South Essex Homes resources, to provide an out of hours response to antisocial behaviour.

The scheme would improve on the two part time council officers currently working as part of the Southend Multi Agency Anti Social Behaviour Response Team, who would join the new squad.

The Smaart team is a joint partnership between the police, the council and South Essex Homes.

Mark Flewitt, councillor responsible for public protection, said: “All councillors are well aware of growing concerns among residents, community groups and businesses related to community safety across the borough, but particularly focused in central Southend and the town centre itself.

“Much of this concern has focused around rough sleeping, homelessness, street drinking and antisocial behaviour associated with drug related crime.

“There have been a number of high profile incidents in recent months some of which have attracted national media attention and sadly the most recent of which resulted in a fatality.”

Mr Flewitt added: “What has become clear is that the council’s existing community safety team is not sufficiently resourced to be able to respond and support partner agencies like the police as it would wish to at both a strategic and operational level.

“Putting in additional resources is therefore the right thing to do as a council and on behalf of the local community and I know will have a real positive impact.

"I would particularly like thank the cross party scrutiny project team for their excellent work on this issue.”

The proposal follows the work of the policy and resources scrutiny committee which considered how a more effective enforcement team could best meet challenges the town and council faces.

The committee concluded additional resources were required to provide an enhanced enforcement presence in Southend.

The team will work in the town and across the borough.

Cabinet members will be asked to agree the money at a meeting on Tuesday.