RESIDENTS say their seaside town is being ruined by criminals who steal money and break into their homes.
Southend in Essex is one of the UK’s best-loved resorts – but locals have been “terrorised” by a spate of burglaries.
The Pearl Dragon restaurant on Jubilee Beach has allegedly been broken into four times this month.
A worker told the Basildon, Canvey and Southend Echo: “We are being terrorised.
“We have been targeted four times this month, and twice someone has got in.
“It is causing a swelling of fear and anger in the business community.”
A crook also burgled the Boathouse Cafe on the Eastern Esplanade – making off with money from tip jars and charity pots.
The burglar also took the cafe’s phone chargers, internet box, card machine and till cash.
He reportedly pulled out a glass pane from the back door and climbed through at 5am, inflicting £600 worth of damage.
Mr Ping Restaurant on nearby Southchurch Road was also targeted by criminals who took a “quantity of alcohol”.
Essex Police said: “We are working with teams across the force to tackle this issue and have increased patrols in the Southend area.
“We understand that burglary is an invasive crime that can leave a business or a homeowner feeling unsafe in their own property and that is unacceptable.
“We know it has a significant impact on the wellbeing and the safety of our victims whose homes and businesses are broken into.
“Tackling burglary is a priority for us – and we regularly review where we see hotspots, linked offences or repeat victims to help identify and carry out policing activities which include targeted patrols.
“We are solving more crimes than ever. As a force, in the 12 months to June 2023 we have solved 14% more business burglaries than in the previous 12 months and almost 7% more in Southend.”
It comes after residents in a seaside town branded the “worst place on earth” hit back and said how lucky they feel to live there.