Southend's police chief has vowed to tackle a gang of hellraising youths which is plaguing an estate.

Residents in the Sherwood Way and Whittingham Avenue area of Southchurch say their lives have been made a misery by about ten youngsters who regularly burgle homes, cause criminal damage and threaten people.

Many other crimes, including peeping toms, indecent exposure, criminal damage, drug dealing and attacks on the elderly and disabled residents, have also been reported to police, but so far, no arrests have been made.

However, Chief Inspector Simon Anslow says he has has ordered a team of officers to take on the yobs.

Police were spurred to action after logging an increase in calls from Sherwood Way about antisocial behaviour.

Mr Anslow said he hoped there would soon be some arrests to report to victims. He added: “We are very concerned about what is going on and we are aware it has been a particular problem in Sherwood Way. “A large number of youths have been identified.

We have about ten individuals we know of.

“We have been working with South Essex Homes and the youth offending service.

“We had a residents’ meeting on May 14 and at that point, it became clear it was not something that was going to go away.”

In the past 30 days, police have been called to Sherwood Way 68 times, not including PCSO foot patols. Last week, police were on the estate 23 times.

Mr Anslow added: “We have one individual named as a particular problem and we are gathering statements to support a potential prosecution.

“I was really heartened to see patrols in that street to tackle the problems.

“Families are not wanting to go out to the corner shop and that’s not how I want people to live in any part of Southend.

“It’s causing a real harm to the community and I am committed to making sure we tackle the individuals making everyone’s lives hell.