LOCKING down large parts of Southend in wake of a double stabbing was vital to give police the chance to catch knife-wielding teenagers, a top officer has insisted.

Chief Supt Simon Anslow has reassured residents that the town “is not out of control” despite a series of violent attacks.

Monday night’s incident is the fourth stabbing in as many days, with a huge dispersal order put in place to give police the power to move on any groups.

No arrests have been made as police continue to investigate two teenagers being stabbed on Marine Parade on Monday.

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

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Chief Supt Anslow stated the victims of the Monday’s night attack are from London, but was unable to release information relating to any suspected attackers.

He said: “At this point it’s too early to say. Our victims did travel down from London but we don’t know where the others involved in the incident are from.

“We’re hoping witnesses can give us some information along those lines.

“There’s nothing to say that the attack was gang related and we still have an open mind on that.

“We weren’t just looking for one individual we were looking for the group. In the immediate aftermath we’re trying to get a handle with what is going on so our officers we’re trying to use their powers as best as they could alongside the section 60 stop and search.

“It wasn’t about the town being out of control.”

Mr Anslow praised passers by who stopped to give first aid to the injured teens.

He added: “A lot of the time people will walk past taking pictures, but we had people this time that were prepared to step forward and help the individuals that were hurt before the medical professionals arrived.

“It’s great to hear that we had people out that were like that, keen to help out.”

Anyone with information is being urged to contact Essex Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.