A NEW security team will patrol Leigh’s Old Town from this weekend in a bid to clamp down on trouble and anti-social behaviour.

A pair of council officers will be focussed specifically on the Old Town after it has been plagued by trouble over the last year - including the murder of Luke Bellfield in February.

A dispersal order was put in place on Tuesday after large crowds began to gather and concerns were raised over anti-social behaviour.

Southend Council will now ramp up security while a public space protection order is under consultation.

The order would impose stricter rules and give police additional powers to disperse crowds if approved.


Carole Mulroney, councillor in charge of environment and planning, said: “We’ve lost the ability to behave. There is no respect anymore.

“What we saw was ridiculous, totally crazy. It was just unbelievable.

“Some people were lighting barbecues next to parked cars.

“The PSPO won’t solve the issues 100 per cent, it depends on people’s behaviour.”

The pair of security officers will be based inside the Leigh Heritage Centre.

The duo will work weekends only, but this could be changed if problems persist.

Officers will work from 9am to 8pm, with the potential for an extra two hours if problems arise.

Martin Terry, councillor in charge of community safety, added: “This is all part of our Operation Heatwave.

“It’s all hands to the pump with this now.

“The security team’s work depends on the weather. It can be scaled back if the weather is looking cold or wet, or increased if they’re expecting larger crowds.

“There will also be considerably more police.”

A warden will also be introduced to direct cars away from the Boundary and Victoria Wharf car parks if they’re full.

A number of CCTV cameras have now been installed across Leigh Old Town following a series of incidents throughout lockdown.