A GANG of yobs have been using catapults to launch stones at homes on Canvey.

Concerns have been raised about youths loitering around Canvey Lake.

Postman James Brown, 34, told the Echo he had no problem with youths hanging around and spending time together but said the behaviour quickly escalated.

He said: “At the beginning of the holidays I walked past the group who just seemed like quite normal teenagers and were polite.

“I’m a postman so I go past the lake every day to go work. I went past in the morning and they didn’t seem to be doing anyone any harm.

“But on the way home they were firing catapults at the jetty and at houses.

“My son’s childminder then saw them pelt stones at a woman walking past.

“The next day, the same group were right outside my son’s nursery on the jetty and just generally being lairy to anyone walking by.

“They left loads of rubbish and I went and picked it all up and loads of it had gone into the lake.”

Mr Brown added: “What got me the most though was the rubbish but also a little lad who was quietly fishing at the lake, and is always down there, asked me to walk with him when he needed to go past.

“I don’t think they would mean to do anyone any serious harm but it is a worry when you’re walking along with your one-year-old’s buggy and they are pelting stones with a catapult.”

Councillor Peter Greig said: “I say time and time again, parents need to know where their children are and what they’re up to. We are very low on police numbers and when it comes to the behaviour of the youngsters it falls upon the parents who need to sort it out.”