ESSEX Police insists it is working hard to tackle violent crime in Southend.

It comes after three teenage boys were charged following a two-week investigation.

A probe was launched back on October 16 after a group of teenagers were allegedly seen carrying weapons in the town.

A boy, 16 and from Leigh, has been charged with being in possession or bladed article in a public place, affray and possession with intent to supply a Class B drug.

Another two boys, who are both 15 and from Leigh and Westcliff respectively, have also been charged with possession of a bladed article and affray.

All three are due to appear at Southend Magistrates Court on Tuesday. (Dec 7) A police spokesman has sought to reassure residents that officers are working hard to keep Southend’s streets safe.

He said: “We understand incidents of this nature will cause the local community concerns, but we are working relentlessly to drive down violent crime and are working hard with our partners by enforcement, education and intervention.

“We want to ensure Southend is a safe place to live, work and visit.

“Lives are lost needlessly or changed forever because of violence involving weapons and we are determined to do everything we can to prevent more people from suffering the devastation it causes.”