Council removes benches to tackle anti-social behaviour

Published Thursday, 18th July 2019

Photo of a memorial seat

Southend-on-Sea Borough Council will be temporarily removing benches from a street in Thorpe Bay following escalating anti-social behaviour.

The benches in Thorpe Bay Gardens, which are donated by family members in memory of a loved one, have been subject to vandalism and become a meeting place for those involved in behaviour which has concerned the local community.

This behaviour includes car racing, littering and late night activity. Traffic calming measures will be introduced to the road in autumn to tackle the vehicle racing but temporary measures are also being considered ahead of the formal works.

Families who have bought the benches have been contacted to explain the circumstances and why the temporary removal is necessary.

Cllr Martin Terry, cabinet member for community safety and customer care, said: “Anti-social behaviour in this area has escalated significantly recently and some intensive responsive work is needed. So whilst the authorities are dealing with the issues, we feel it best to temporarily remove the benches and store them safely in council owned storage. We will review the options once activity in the area has calmed down, it may be necessary to relocate them nearby”.

“It is a real shame that the actions of an inconsiderate few are leading to the removal of the benches, which may be distressing for the families who have secured the benches in memory of their loved one. However we need to think of the community as a whole and how to tackle to anti-social behaviour in the quickest, most effective way as well as ensuring that memorials purchased in the memory of loved-ones aren’t subjected to repeated vandalism.”