PERMANENT nighttime security guards are being removed from some Southend borough train stations raising fears among passengers.

C2C has decided to increase the number of guards at Southend Central but Southend East and Thorpe Bay stations will be among those who will lose permanent cover and be served by a mobile unit instead.

At the moment there are guards at each station to cover the gate lines but C2C claim they will have “enhanced security responsibilities” covering more than one station.

C2C will still have the same number of guards but with a greater presence at the biggest station.

Sarah Jackson, from Southend, believes staff should permanently be based at these stations at night.

The 39-year-old said: “I go into Southend East sometimes late at night as I commute to and from London. It’s the worst lit station.

“I live five minutes away but I always get a taxi these days, as I don’t feel safe around that area due to the increasing crime.

“Security needs to be there permanently to make people feel safe-not a mobile team.”

Michelle Walters, 43, from Southend, added: “I only live two minutes away which really doesn’t warrant a cab but it puts me off coming home late from London as it’s so badly lit. It’s awful to feel nowadays you can’t enjoy an evening out after work in fear of getting home safely both on the train or walking back home safely at night.

“Permanent security should be there.”

A spokesman for C2C said: ““We’re adjusting the way we deploy our late-night agency staff from September.

“This includes basing more late-night security staff at Southend Central, given it is the busiest late-night station, and introducing a mobile security team who will cover Southend East and Thorpe Bay stations after the ticket offices close for the day.

“Customers who need assistance will be able to speak to a member of our staff in our control centre by using our platform help points. All our stations will be monitored by staff in our 24/7 CCTV centre.”