SOUTHEND is “out of control” with “London gangs fighting over drug dealing territory”, it has been claimed after two stabbings on the seafront.

In another night of chaos in the town, two teenagers were stabbed in a targeted attack on Marine Parade, shortly before 7.40pm on Monday.

Both teenage boys were taken to hospital where one boy remains in a serious condition.

A huge dispersal order was put in place following the attack, with police searching 12 teenagers for weapons.

A number of knives were recovered but police have been unable to confirm how many were found and what action was taken.

Council bosses have warned anti-social behaviour from out of towners could become out of control if “robust action” isn’t taken soon.

Businesses were forced to close early after the gang of teenagers were seen running with knives before the brawl.

Read more: Dozens of firefighters arrive at block of flats... to find insect repellent smoke

Martin Richardson, owner of the Happidrome Arcade, saw a number of police cars, ambulance and air ambulance rush to the scene.

He said: “I saw the air ambulance come to the seafront and I thought something has gone wrong and then I received a text from a resident that there was a stabbing.

“The anti-social behaviour is having a massive detrimental affect on Southend.

“My thing has always been customer safety is number one. We closed early last night at 8pm instead of 10pm because it’s not nice for visitors to see for the second and third night running.

“We had the stabbings on Saturday, a fight on Sunday and now this. Too many people are carrying knives and there’s not enough of a deterrent.

“It’s crazy. It’s just getting out of control.”

It comes after another two men were stabbed in the arm in separate incidents on Saturday.

The huge dispersal order, running until 4am yesterday, covered parts of Westcliff, Southchurch, Chalkwell and central Southend.

Councillor for public protection, Martin Terry, insisted that more arrests being made would show troublemakers Southend is not somewhere they can commit crimes and escape punishment.

Mr Terry said: “Sadly it’s confirmed our predictions about coming out of lockdown.

“All these incidents are not local people.

“It was two gangs from London and I believe they are fighting over territory to sell drugs.

“There was a full knife fight and we don’t want that in the town. It’s harmful to businesses and it’s harmful to Southend.

“It’s quietened down in Leigh but it’s now going elsewhere. It’s becoming very unpredictable.

“I want to see a robust response and I would say if arrests aren’t made people can assume that people think they can get away with these crimes.

“We’re learning all the time and we need to address it.

“It would fully support arrests being made in a robust response to that."