SOUTHEND council’s community safety team will be blitzing the borough, not just the high street, from now on as a plea was once again issued for more bobbies-on-the-beat.

The patrol team is now being provided with free travel from transport companies First, Arriva and c2c.

Officers can now intervene with issues arising on the bus and train networks.

The news comes as latest figures show the team tackled a high number of incidents of antisocial behaviour in June.

Latest stats reveal they also received 48 CCTV reports which led to arrests and assisted Essex Police dealing with 28 crimes.

This is in addition to helping find missing children, rescue a family stuck on mud flats and delivering a baby in the High Street!

Initially focused on the high street after being launched last September, the team also had 102 interactions with people begging or sleeping rough last month – an average of three a day.

Martin Terry, Southend’s councillor for community safety, is pleased with the plans to expand the area they operate in.

He said: “It makes some sense that this team help out all different aspects of the community.

“While the team are not there to replace police officers, they are there to provide another uniformed presence on the streets.

“They are there to provide additional support for minor level incidents and give the public some reassurance.

“The links they are building within the community, with individuals and businesses, plus the intelligence they are gathering, is vastly important to the work we are doing to improve the safety in and around our communities.”

Mr Terry is still very keen to see more police officers deployed throughout the streets of Southend.

He added: “I will always support the work of the patrol team along with making the case to restore fully warranted police officer numbers throughout the borough.

“Southend has undoubtedly felt the impact of central government cuts to police numbers, and something needed to be done quickly to tackle the growing unease people felt within the high street area with anti-social behaviour such as drinking alcohol and aggressive begging. Once the team started their patrols, the feedback from the public was ‘I feel much safer with these guys patrolling the streets’.”