NUISANCE thugs are running riot near a primary school and parade of shops regularly dealing drugs and acting anti-socially in plain sight.

Police worked to patrol Felmores End in Basildon on Thursday evening after receiving reports of drug dealing.

Kerry Smith, deputy leader of Basildon Council, has been made aware of the drug dealing problem by parents from Briscoe Primary School and Nursery.

School bosses have also had to report the issue to the police.

A concerned resident, who wished to remain anonymous, says that youngsters often go down to the shops to “hang about in groups and cause a nuisance”.

The 66-year-old from Pitsea, said: “They don’t stay long, but they know the quickest routes to get away.

“I’ve got agoraphobia so I find it hard to go out anyway, but I wouldn’t even want to take my dog for a walk out there. It’s just not safe any more, it seems to happen near the shops at Rectory Road too – they congregate round there on bikes, doing drug runs and just intimidating people – as well as at Eversley Field.”

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Mr Smith fears anti-social behaviour is becoming the norm in that area of Basildon.

He said: “This behaviour is very concerning. There are certain things that shouldn’t be happening outside shops or especially a school where young children can see and may think it’s the norm.

“The people carrying out this behaviour need to be nicked, getting them off the streets puts a stop to their business and most importantly keeps the kids and shoppers safe.

“They are the next generation and need protecting – it really can destroy lives.

“The people who have got in touch with me were mostly worried about the drug dealing, and understandably so.

“That being said, there are certain parts of Basildon where anti-social behaviour is the norm and I think this is one of them.

“But there is absolutely no excuse, it shouldn’t be happening anywhere in our town.”

The Briscoe Primary School and Nursery say they are pleased to hear the issue is being tackled.

A spokesperson from Essex Police, added: “We know how important a high visibility presence is in helping tackling crime and providing reassurance on our streets.”