Bella restaurant owner Lak Stavrou said it has reached the stage where there is “no point” in calling the police.
He said: “It seems like they are too scared to do anything about it.”That's ridiculous, Mr Stavrou.
They are too lazy, incompetent or thick. Not scared.
“There are people shouting in the streets, there are aggressive beggars. We need police officers going up and down the street on Friday and Saturday nights.
“There is no reason why there shouldn’t be a police presence, it would really help.”Clearly, the police feel there is a reason. Perhaps they just don't feel like it?
Some business owners described how drug use around St James’s Street is blatant, while residents reported waking up to find needles, urine and faeces on their doorstep. One resident said: “We get an awful lot of people using the alleyways as a toilet.”
There were complaints that there is often a regular smell of cannabis in the area.You won't need to walk too far down Southend High Street before you smell cannabis. I often do. And that's in broad daylight!
It's a mystery to me that the police seem unable to detect it.
A member of the community action group reported seeing a live drug deal taking place near her home, but said that officers were always too slow to respond to actually catch dealers.
They argued that if there were more officers out on patrol, they would catch more criminals in the act.Not if they are like the teeny tiny police officer I saw a while ago, who barely came up to my chin even with her hat on!
Deputy Chief Constable Bernie O’Reilly said: “We have had plain clothes officers stopping and searching people along with uniform patrols, so we are taking action where we can.
“Our officers attended the meeting, and have been speaking with business owners to reassure people that we are out and about.”They don't seem reassured to me. I wonder why?