A COUNCILLOR has called for a curfew, following a series of “out of control” incidents, claiming “this is the only answer”.

Councillor Dave Blackwell, believes a curfew is needed to control some youngsters on the Island.

This is following the unruly behaviour of the yobs, which have resulted in incidents such as a large group of youths aiming fireworks at police last month.

The topic of curfews was discussed at the public meeting on December 3, which was held by the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex at the Paddocks in Canvey.

During the meeting, Police Commissioner Roger Hirst shared the latest crime trends and the policing operations happening in the Castle Point district, as well as taking questions from the public about crime in the area.

Dave Blackwell said: “During the meeting on Monday night, mothers brought this up, everybody said about bringing back curfews.

“These kids know they can get away with it which the curfew would put a stop to. It has got out of control, kids these days have no respect for adults or for the police.

“We have to take action. At the meeting, Godfrey Isaac said that other areas have similar issues to us. But I don’t care about other areas, I’m only bothered about our Island. I’m fed up. Some innocent people will be caught up in it but this can’t be helped.

“A curfew would make people feel more comfortable and give people some peace of mind. People should feel safe and it’s a sad reflection of society.

“I know the majority of people would support it. Residents have asked me ‘what the hell is going on’.

“Lets hope action is taken, especially in the run up to Christmas. If we don’t clamp down on it this will just carry on.”

Numerous residents have also supported the idea of a curfew. Chantelle Price Todd, from Canvey, witnessed a gang of youths surround an 84 year old man, who repeatedly shouted abuse and swore at him. Two days prior to this incident, the same group threw eggs and stones at his house.

She said: “We had a curfew when I was fifteen where we had to come home by 9pm. It seemed to work then!

“I went to the meeting on Monday where a few parents mentioned the curfew. We stayed afterwards to speak to the police officer. One of the mothers explained that her daughter had a curfew and she has turned out fine.

“My son is ten and before I wouldn’t want to think he had to be home at 9pm, but it’s got so bad now I would 100% agree with a curfew.

“Even if it isn’t your child, it could be whoever they are hanging around with causing trouble.

“I know the poor man I saw being abused would be up for the curfew 100%, and so would a lot of others.

“I would rather a group of kids be home early than be banging on my windows!”

Essex Police have responded: “We always look to work with our partners to address issues when they arise across Canvey but we do not have any statutory powers to enforce a curfew.

“We do make use of the powers including dispersal orders which can be in place for a maximum of 48 hours and are area specific.

“Most recently we put a dispersal order in place following anti-social behaviour in the area of Furtherwick Road, Long Road and King George V playing field on November 5.

“Local authorities also have powers to put in place public space protection orders.

“We judge each situation on its own merits before enforcing the powers available to us and neither we nor the local authority would use these powers as a blunt tool.”