PARENTS putting children at risk by “dangerous and unsafe parking” near a secondary school are set to be targeted in new police patrols.

Essex Police will be stepping up patrols in the Rayleigh Road area after concerns over “dangerous and unsafe” parking near Eastwood Academy.

Councillors met with police at a community meeting at Belfairs Woodlands Centre, where the force agreed to step up patrols during drop off and pick up time.

Southend Liberal Democrat leader Paul Collins (pictured inset left) claims parents parking along the road is blocking the view of children and leading to near-misses which they fear could result in a serious accident if the situation continues.

Mr Collins said: “The leading police sergeant at the community meeting told me she had personally seen how bad Rayleigh Road has become and was detailing officers to go there and patrol more visibly.

“I’ve emphasised to them that it is nearing the end of the holidays, and police need to concentrate on zebra crossings.

“Responsibility matters here, and I will try to get civil enforcement officers, who hand out fines, to increase their presence on the street as well.”

Mr Collins added there have been previous issues on the road with parents spotting officers before they can receive a fine and driving off, meaning the pattern of behaviour does not change.

He said: “It isn’t good enough really. Our civil enforcement officers need more power as Eastwood Academy is a huge school that feeds onto an A-road, there are poor sightlines and people parking are a dangerous obstruction.

“It is good news for us that patrols are being stepped up and I will be going there to monitor it myself when the patrols begin.

“They will have to stay consistent as, like with many things, when people in authority go the problem may persist.”

Eastwood Academy was contacted for comment.