ABUSIVE teenagers have been making trouble at a parade of shops in Southend.

Officers have stepped up patrols in Cluny Square to combat a rise in antisocial behaviour.

The worst problems have been at the Chinese takeaway, Man Lee, which is suffering at the hands of yobs.

Paul Van Looey, independent councillor for St Luke’s, said: “A couple of weeks ago they got some racial abuse, and then kids came along lobbing milkshakes at the window. They are a bit scared.”

Sgt Ian Hughes, of Shoebury police, said: “The whole reason for the operation is the Chinese takeaway, in particular, has been targeted for antisocial behaviour.

“Yobs have been going into the shop, opening doors and shouting abusive names.

“But we’ve got some names of lads – people we are going to look up.”

Patricia Kul, 47,who works in Cluny Bakery, said: “I haven’t had any trouble.

“Maybe a couple of cans missing now and again.

“But I know the newsagents gets trouble with a few louts in at a time taking stuff.”

However, Rosemary Ariss, 63, who runs Cafe @ the Square, said the youngsters were easy to deal with.

She said: “I think it’s the way you react to them, especially with the older ones.

“You treat them like adults and they are fine.

“A lot of it is a respect thing. Respect goes both ways.”

Lyn Barnes, 56, of Cluny Residents’ Association, added: “We had an incident with them banging one of the signs outside. We asked them if they wanted us to call the police and they said ‘Go on then’.

“So we told them the community had got together and got them a pool table for Connexions youth centre and their attitude changed.”

Ian Mildren, vice-chairman of the association, said things had greatly improved in the area.

He said: “It’s not as bad as it used to be. It used to be terrible around here.

“Elderly people never used to go to the shops after 6pm, but they do now.”

He said this was mainly due to the police, councillors, and residents’ association working together to tackle problems.