POLICE are hunting a trio after a man was stabbed three times during the early hours of Sunday morning.

The victim, who is in his thirties, was assaulted by three men in Royal Terrace, Southend, shortly after 1.05am.

He was left with three wounds to his back but his injuries are not believed to be life-threatening or life-changing.

Essex Police said his attackers have all been described as being Asian and wearing dark clothing.

Echo: Stabbing - a man was attacked by three people in Royal Terrace, SouthendStabbing - a man was attacked by three people in Royal Terrace, Southend (Image: Google)

The force has now launched an appeal for any witnesses or people with Ring doorbell footage to come forward.

The frightening assault has left residents already concerned about knife crime feeling increasingly anxious.

Southend resident Tim Stone said: “Southend is just not a safe place anymore, never mind all the rubbish about crime is down blah blah blah that we seem to always be told.

“I have never known violent crime to be so rife as it is now in this town and the surrounding areas.

Echo: Presence - a police van in SouthendPresence - a police van in Southend (Image: Newsquest)

“This issue needs serious, immediate attention from our local councillors and the police.”

Mr Stone also called on the judicial system to “get tough” on violent crime.

The latest Essex Police figures reveal there were two fewer knife-related incidents in the year to March 2023 compared to 2020.

In the 12 months to March this year, there were 1,622 knife-enabled offences recorded by officers.

Echo: On the beat - police officers patrol Southend's beachOn the beat - police officers patrol Southend's beach (Image: Essex Police)

But in Southend, a police spokesman said: “Crime and violent crime is down.

“Work we have done with partners this summer has seen a significant drop in incidents of violence and anti-social behaviour in the city.

“We’re utilising proactive options such as hotspot policing, which was pioneered here in Essex, knife arches and OpenGate weapons detectors, additional stop and search powers and dispersal orders.”

Speaking previously, Essex Police’s chief constable Ben-Julian Harrington called on people to put down their weapons.

Echo: Warning - Chief Constable of Essex Police, Ben-Julian HarringtonWarning - Chief Constable of Essex Police, Ben-Julian Harrington (Image: Essex Police)

“I think there is a real responsibility we all have to tell people to leave their knife at home,” said the chief constable.

“There is a real opportunity for everyone to take knives off the streets.”

Any information about the Royal Terrace stabbing should be put to the police by calling 101 and citing crime reference number 42/157066/23.