POLICE were called with complaints of about 200 rowdy youths on a street in Westcliff.

Frightened residents in Prittlewell Chase told how youngsters were fighting, screaming and shouting, causing residents to fear for the safety of their families and property.

Colin Watkins, 52, who lives in the road, said: “There were kids fighting on a neighbour’s driveway and there was a punch-up by the bus stop over the road. It was mad. There must have been between 200 and 250 kids.”

Mr Watkins said he was watching TV when he heard a bang which woke his wife Carole, 52, and daughter Laura, 26.

He said a number of neighbours came out of their homes to stand guard after a neighbour said she heard things being thrown at cars.

Mr Watkins said: “The kids were in the road which was stopping traffic and then the cars started sounding their horns.

“I called the police and at first there was one police car and then there were about seven.”

Mr Watkins said his wife was terrified and although some of the crowd started to leave when police arrived, he stayed up until about 2am to make sure his home or car didn’t come under attack.

He added: “It was pandemonium. It was certainly not the sort of thing you’d expect in a residential area. It’s not like I’m living opposite a nightclub and I wouldn’t want a repeat of it.”

Sarah Moul, 46, who also lives in the road, said: “It was dreadful. I was about to go to bed when I heard the commotion. There were youngsters everywhere.

“They looked like they were older, so there might well have been alcohol involved.”

Mr Watkins said he believed the youngsters had been at a party at nearby Chase Sports Centre, Prittlewell Chase.

An Essex Police spokeswoman said officers were called at 11.25pm on Friday and spent about an hour dispersing crowds.

No arrests have been made by officers.