OFFICERS responded quickly and in numbers following a disturbance in the Chalkwell area and additional patrols will continue throughout this weekend.
Police were called at 7.05pm yesterday, Friday 24 July, with reports of a large group of people fighting, some with weapons, in Chalkwell Esplanade, near Chalkwell train station.
Officers were quickly on scene with colleagues from British Transport Police to respond to the incident and carry out searches assisted by a police helicopter.
Two 15-year-old boys from Basildon were taken to hospital. One had a small cut to his head and a stab wound to his leg, which will require surgery. The other victim had a minor stab wound to his arm. Their injuries are not life threatening.
An 18-year-old man from Basildon was arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm and possession of drugs, and a 20-year-old man from South Ockendon was arrested on suspicion of affray. They remain in custody for questioning.
Following police attendance, the large group of people dispersed and we responded to further reports of a group gathering at Chalkwell Park, where there were reports of loud music being played.
The park was closed and the group were moved on.
Additional stop-and-search powers were authorised under Section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 in order to keep people safe and facilitate our robust response.
This additional, temporary power, allowed officers to use stop and search powers without the need to have reasonable grounds to stop someone.
The powers were put in place from 7.30pm yesterday to 6am today, Saturday 25 July, in specific areas around Chalkwell.
Our Operational Support Group stopped 33 people and no weapons were found. One person was given a community resolution for possession of cannabis and two vehicles were seized for having no insurance.
Detective Chief Inspector Jim Sandford said: “I know this incident was very concerning for local residents and I would like to thank them for their ongoing support and their understanding.
“Our officers responded quickly and robustly to deal with those who felt it was acceptable to cause disorder and as a result of this action their behaviour was curtailed.
“We are continuing to support the two young victims who were injured and detectives have been working throughout the night to investigate what happened.
“Incidents like this are thankfully rare and our officers worked alongside colleagues from the British Transport Police to swiftly deal with the disorder.
“The additional stop and search powers and patrols were put in place to prevent any further crimes and it is reassuring that of those people stopped, no weapons were found and there were no arrests made.
“Officers patrolled throughout the evening and continue to do so today to ensure people feel safe and I would urge anyone with information about yesterday’s incident or any concerns to please speak to them.”
Detectives are continuing their enquiries today to establish the circumstances behind the incident and identify any further people who were involved.
We had a number of witnesses come forward to assist with our enquiries and we are grateful for their help, as information from the public is really important to bring offenders to justice.
Anyone with information is asked to call Southend CID on 101 quoting reference 1144 of 24 July.
You can also report online at https://www.essex.police.uk
Alternatively, you can contact independent charity Crimestoppers 100% anonymously on 0800 555 111 or https://crimestoppers-uk.org.