SOUTHEND fell into chaos as gangs of youths descended on the city resulting in two stabbings amid claims of pitched battles along the seafront.

On Friday, two men were stabbed in a series of fights.

One was left with stab wounds to his neck and stomach after being attacked with a zombie knife in Marine Parade at about 8pm.

He was taken to hospital with injuries said not to be life-threatening.

Echo: A bloody knife at the sceneA bloody knife at the scene

Another man suffered stab wounds and was treated by paramedics at the scene.

Seafront businessman Paul Thompson claimed police had lost control of the crowds which had gathered along Eastern Esplanade by 4pm.

“It was anarchy. The first hot day of the summer and police lost control of Southend seafront,” he said.

Echo: A man receives aidA man receives aid

“Gangs of youths were taking large amounts of weed, laughing gas and other drugs. There were thousands of people and fights happening everywhere, yet I could count the number of police officers on one hand."

Mr Thompson was forced to close two of his businesses - Pebbles One Café and the Spar supermarket – to send his staff home to keep them safe.


Ye Olde Fish and Chip Shop, also owned by Mr Thompson, was closed and turned into a temporary aid station, with paramedics patching up victims of the ongoing violence. 

A spokesman for Essex Police stressed officers were diverted from other areas to Southend over the weekend.

Police gave officers increased powers to stop and search suspects in response to the seafront chaos.


Police also utilised a dispersal order, which gave officers the power to direct people suspected of causing or likely to cause disorder to leave the area.

Speaking on Saturday, Chief Insp David Miles, from Essex Police, said: “We will continue to use all policing powers to make Southend safer – this includes Section 60 and dispersal orders. We will take action against anyone intent on causing harm and we made arrests in connection with a robbery and the seizure of a knife last night.

“Investigations into a number of incidents are also ongoing. I want to be really clear – we will be out in numbers and will not tolerate people posing a risk to the public and if you’re thinking of coming to Southend and causing trouble, think again.

Essex Police is appealing for witnesses to come forward.

If you have any information you can submit a report online or use the ‘Live Chat’ button to speak to an online operator between 7am-11pm.

Please quote incident 1371 of 17 June.

You can also call on 101 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.