FEARS of anti-social behaviour have resulted in a ramped-up police presence across south Essex.

Essex Police has taken steps to clamp down on anti-social behaviour and potentially criminal activity in Southend, Basildon, and Canvey over the bank holiday weekend.

A tip-off about a potential car meet in the Roscommon Way area of Canvey saw the force put a dispersal order in place from 5pm on Saturday until the end Monday.

Parts of the Basildon borough are also included in the dispersal order, including Tesco in Pitsea, the Southfields, Mayflower, and Cranes Farm industrial estates, Pipps Hill, and Festival Leisure Park.

Echo: Patrol - there has been an increased police presence across south Essex this weekendPatrol - there has been an increased police presence across south Essex this weekend (Image: Essex Police)

Dispersal orders give officers extra powers to direct anyone they suspect of causing disorder or anti-social behaviour away from the area.

“Anyone who does not follow that direction could be arrested,” a police spokesman said. “Dispersal orders are put in place to ensure the safety of everyone in the area.”

Police officers on Canvey had already committed to carrying out increased activity over the weekend while also working with Castle Point Council to enforce a public spaces protection order (PSPO).

Insp David Kealy said: “We want to demonstrate our commitment to tackling anti-social behaviour by making sure we limit the risk of any disorder.

“We will be maintaining a visible presence in the area to deter any potential offenders, deal with breaches of the PSPO and prevent road traffic offences.

“Anyone with concerns should of course reach out to us, either by approaching an officer or getting in touch with us online.”

A separate dispersal order was put in place in Southend, where there was also an increased police presence over the weekend, after police officers received information about a potential car meet.

The order in Southend is also in place now until the end of Monday and includes the Marine Parade, Pier Hill, Western Esplanade and Chalkwell Esplanade areas of the city.

Chief Insp Jo Collins, the district commander for Southend, said: “If you need help or have concerns about anything or anyone, our officers will be out in the city and they will do all they can to assist.”