Two anti-social behaviour hotspots in Southend are set to get thousands of hours of police and council officer patrols after recent incidents.

Patrol zones have been established in areas off Southchurch Road and Maple Square to give residents a highly visible presence after reports of drug offences, noise and nuisance activity.

Officers from the city's community policing team and Southend Council’s community safety officers will complete more than 3,000 hours of patrols and conduct dedicated nights of action in the next six months.

Echo: Officers get an aerial view of the Southchurch Road zoneOfficers get an aerial view of the Southchurch Road zone (Image: Essex Police)

Essex’s Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner has invested £1.1 million to combat anti-social behaviour in eleven hotspot areas across the county.

The funding is provided by central government as part of their anti-social behaviour strategy and is designed to deliver high visibility patrols, public engagement, targeted youth outreach and early intervention.

The force has seen a 35 per cent drop in anti-social behaviour in Southend in the past 12 months with 1,233 fewer offences recorded. Across Essex, these offences have fallen by more than 60 per cent in six years.

Temporary Inspector Dave Gardiner of the city's community policing team said the dedicated patrols would help to extinguish issues before they escalated.

“Anti-social behaviour has a serious impact on the lives of victims. It’s not ‘low-level’ offending and if it’s not dealt with, it can escalate quickly and lead to other offending,” he commented.

Echo: Police officers on patrolPolice officers on patrol (Image: Essex Police)

“In the zone that covers Southchurch Road, Christchurch Court and Christchurch Road, there have been issues with ASB from youths in the park, and in the low-rise flats that surrounded the park we have had reports of homeless people congregating, sex workers and drug-related ASB in the stairwells.

“In the area around Maple Square, there have also been ASB issues related to drugs and there are addresses in the zone that continue to be of interest to us.

“This type of behaviour is totally unacceptable and nobody should have to put up with it in their neighbourhood.

“We work very closely with the council’s community safety team and will continue to provide a high-visibility presence to deter offending and reassure the community.

“The response locally has been very positive. People like seeing officers on foot patrol and it’s a great opportunity for us to stop and engage with people, listen to their issues and also gain useful intelligence.

“If you are a victim of anti-social behaviour, please report it to us by calling 101, message us via our website, or contact Crimestoppers or the local housing association if it relates to one of their properties. If you see a crime being committed, call 999.”