Police have stepped up patrols and powers around stop and search after a spike in knife crime.

Essex Police will have extra patrols today, and will use powers under Section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act to search people for weapons and help prevent serious crime on Canvey until 11am tomorrow.

It comes after five incidents involving knives in two months on the island.

The increase in police activity follows a knife point robbery in Vaulx Road at around 9.50pm last Saturday where a man had his bag stolen by four people and a robbery at Co-Op in Canvey Road at around 9.25pm on Monday.

Other recent incidents include: a man was stabbed in the leg in Southwalters at around 2am on Saturday 15 June.

A 17-year-old boy from Linford was arrested on Wednesday 26 June on suspicion of grievous bodily harm and has been released on bail until Thursday 12 September

A man was stabbed in the stomach near to Oysterfleet Hotel at around 4.5pm on Friday 19 July.

A 17-year-old boy from Tilbury and a 14-year-old boy from Basildon were arrested on suspicion of committing grievous bodily harm and have been released under investigation

A 29-year-old man was received knife wounds to his arm and eyebrow at 7.15pm on Tuesday 23 July near Canvey Lake.

Chief Inspector David Miles, District Commander for Castle Point and Rochford, said: “In the last two months there have been four serious incidents involving knife crime, with possible links to gangs.

“While it remains unclear whether these are linked or random attacks, we have taken measures today to further increase our visibility in Canvey.

“We continue to work around the clock to tackle gang related crime in Canvey, including the establishment of dedicated teams.

“We hope through visible policing and an increase use of stop and search that this will help detect and disrupt criminals on or coming to the island.”

In March 2018, Essex Police set up of a dedicated team of five called Op Falcon to help tackle drug activity in Castle Point.

This team has had success with 12 people arrested in two days in May after they carried out six warrants.

Last month the force also established Canvey Town Centre Team, which includes two constables led by a sergeant to help tackle the most prominent issues in local communities, making for a safer county and stronger relationships with the public.

The force is urging anyone with information about gang and drug related crime to call it on 101 in a non-emergency or 999 in an emergency.

Alternatively, residents can report information online by visiting www.essex.police.uk/do-it-onine or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.