ATTEMPTS to increase the number of officers in Southend have failed with one councillor now calling for the police commissioner to resign.

Southend Council unanimously agreed to petition for more officers following a dramatic rise in crime involving weapons, serious injuries or worse.

Letters were sent to Commissioner Roger Hirst, Essex Police and the Home Office.

Responses have been received from the Home Office and the Office for the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner but both ignore the requests, it is claimed.

Independent Councillor Martin Terry, who originally put forward the motion for more officers, said: “We simply do not have enough police resources.

“Unfortunately, we have a commissioner who is part of the same political party as the Government and he is not prepared to rock the boat.

“Based on these letters I would say the PCC is letting us down because we have a crisis in Southend.

“We have blood on the streets, we’ve got people dying, we’ve got gang warfare – it is unacceptable.

“If the PCC can’t deal with it then he needs to step down and we need someone who will step up and be prepared to knock down the door at Number 10 to ask for this because the level of knife crime is out of control.”

In the written response from the Home Office, a spokesman claims it is not their responsibility to allocate resources but but an increase of £8.8million has been provided this year.

Conservative Mark Flewitt, councillor for public protection, said: “I understand the frustration that councillors have but I think the letter from the PCC was very optimistic, he says he is going to do what he can to get more officers on the beat and that is an objective we all want to meet.

“He has also agreed to come down in September to meet with councillors and give them the opportunity to ask questions directly.

“So, I understand the frustrations but its not all about getting angry, sometimes it’s about sitting down with people and working with them and that is what Southend Council wishes to do.”

It is understood the council is waiting for a response from Essex Police to the request for extra officers.