Why has this been allowed to happen?

Date: 29-12-2021

Why has this been allowed to happen?

Over the last 16 years since launching the Oracle, I have never used the magazine to write my own personal views, however I feel I can’t stay silent any longer. I know my sorrow and frustration regarding Southend’s accelerating demise, is shared with many of you. Share your views on this issue by writing to info@oraclepublications.co.uk

I grew up in Southend and I remember a very busy and vibrant High Street. As a teenager, the highlight of my week was to catch the bus to meet friends on a Saturday, walk the high street, shop and enjoy a Knickerbocker Glory at Tomassis's!

 

Alarming crime rate

The reason I have decided to speak out is that I have been shown some alarming figures about Southend which I want to share with you all. According to Crimerate.co.uk for England, Wales and Northern Ireland, Southend’s crime rates have risen sharply, especially around the areas of Southend Central, Victoria and the Kursaal. I feel the time is right to share this information with you not only because Southend has recently been given the prestigious honour of city status but my confidence in the people running our city council is dwindling. The circumstance surrounding Southend’s City Status award was horrendous but making this award count is vitally important to the town. My fear is that larger businesses won’t be interested in Southend especially when they visit the High Street in its present state. Debenhams has recently gone, leaving another large retail unit empty and the town less inviting to would-be shoppers. Amongst the visitors Southend seems to be attracting these days are too many undesirables and to top it all the town’s police presence is at an all-time low.

 

Treat the cause

There are obviously many factors arising outside of the council’s control, but we must ask why there is increased crime? What socio-economic factors have contributed to this rise? A campaign to highlight these issues could be effective, but we need to treat the cause rather than the symptoms. Is it a public health issue rather than a police issue?

 

Suggested satellite police station

In the short term, I have suggested to the Council that a satellite police station be placed in the High Street to deter anti-social behaviour. I feel if the town was to focus on improving Southend’s alarming crime rate, then perhaps shoppers would feel safe enough to return. This in turn would encourage outside investment to the town centre and the city status award would not have been in vain.

Chelmsford, with its city status, has a bustling and thriving High Street and I know that many Southend residents shopped there prior to Christmas as our own High Street currently has so very little to offer. Our town is unable to attract restaurant chains such as Brasserie Blanc, Cote Brasserie or Rick Stein. We don’t even have a Pret a Manger! Is it because they don’t want to be seen here?

 

Spend locally

Southend needs its residents to spend their money locally to thrive again; creating a safe environment for that to happen would be a start. It is simple, the town needs the senseless disagreements at the top of the council to stop. This is not about political point scoring or egos; this is about Southend and its residents. Shame on anyone who has been given the privilege to represent this town and wasted that privilege with-in house politics! The town is now at an all-time low and it is crucial that Southend’s council work together with local businesses and residents to create a brighter, safer and more prosperous town.

 

Emma Wynne-Morgan
Publisher

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Comments (14)

Please leave a comment below ...

Date: 27-01-2022 | 22:29:36
I am writing in response to your recent article on the crime rates in Southend on sea. As a parent of 16 year old twins I really just wanted to give my view on how the safety is perceived by us and by the youngsters themselves. Late last summer my daughter was in the high street with some friends when a group of kids on bikes wearing balacla ...   continue reading
By: Samantha Gundy
Date: 27-01-2022 | 14:12:53
I used to love coming to Southend with my wife. No more shall we do so … It was a Friday night and I decided to leave work and meet my wife in the Last Post in Southend. After a couple of hours and a few drinks later, we were both feeling a little Peckish, so we decided to go on to the high street to have something to eat. KFC was close by ...   continue reading
By: Scott (from Basildon)
Date: 27-01-2022 | 10:56:53
Just some personal thoughts on the situation with Southend High Street, following your message. The pedestrianisation, in my opinion, causes a great deal of the crime issues. I’m pretty relaxed about walking around at night, but I wouldn’t feel at all comfortable running the gauntlet of the High Street after dark. The fact that there is no ...   continue reading
By: Jo Curtis
Date: 26-01-2022 | 22:29:43
I totally agree with you Emma saying about the state of Southend town centre it’s nothing how it used to be it’s gone down so much I don’t even go there anymore The famous Kiddies & many more shops have gone such a shame I don’t shop there anymore it’s untidy & I don’t feel safe at all So glad Emma has spoken about the state of ou ...   continue reading
By: Sandra poulain
Date: 26-01-2022 | 21:48:34
Hi I agree with all your comments raised in this publication. I must also add the condition of the roads are appalling too.
By: Phil Webster
Date: 25-01-2022 | 20:04:40
I wholeheartedly agree with everything you mention in your insightful account. Like you, I was brought up in the borough and am now witnessing the slow tatterdemalion of the town’s high street. I recall Southend being a bustling town centre with plenty of good shops to attract local folk and visitors from outside the borough. What I find re ...   continue reading
By: Karen Wilson
Date: 25-01-2022 | 12:10:24
I hope your words have an impact with the powers that be and something is done about it soon. In the meantime, Southend is pretty much becoming a no go area. I and many of my friends only visit on the very odd occasion now, and that's usually just a trip to Boots or M&S. We no longer stop to browse, we leave as quickly as possible! I know a lot of ...   continue reading
By: Karen Mason
Date: 12-01-2022 | 15:17:55
The fact is we now have two underused covered shopping centres connected but a depressing grey high street. No flower beds. No chiming clock. Nothing at the heart of a once thriving seaside town. The money spent on laying and relaying miserable grey swathes of pavement is beyond belief. What is the plan ? What is the sea of greyness outsid ...   continue reading
By: Sharon Elfallah
Date: 11-01-2022 | 22:11:23
Your Oracle article has expressed I am sure, the views and concerns of many residents of all ages. I have been involved in business and lived in Southend for nearly sixty years. Obviously in that time much has changed - a lot for the good, but also some very damaging events, actions and circumstances, especially Certainly Covid has taken its to ...   continue reading
By: Ian C Green
Date: 11-01-2022 | 16:08:54
I have been a resident of Southend Central for over 20 years. The increase in crime in the High Street and the surrounding area has been noticeable. In particular - violence, knife crime and anti-social behaviour. Not only have I read about these crimes, reported in the media, but have witnessed them with my own eyes. Whilst we have seen an in ...   continue reading
By: Philippa Coe
Date: 05-01-2022 | 16:01:46
I agree. I live close to the town but don’t feel safe. If I’m going shopping I’ll go to Basildon. Southend is lacking in shops and safely. Too many bikes/scooters speeding up and down. Too many pick pockets. Too many aggressive beggars (they aren’t homeless, just drunk and abusive)
By: David Scott
Date: 04-01-2022 | 13:03:57
I have noticed what seems like a significant increase in violent crime in the area since the start of the pandemic. Perhaps this is not a coincidence. But solutions need to be found as it has gotten out of hand and is even affecting areas that perhaps previously experienced less violent crime, such as Old Leigh. I think that in truth, it's a ...   continue reading
By: Gary
Date: 02-01-2022 | 10:19:30
The decline in the High Street and surrounding areas is due to the success of other parts of the town. Leigh is clearly thriving despite being drenched in middle class drug culture. Most of the seafront is pleasant and attracts day trippers looking for sea air, a bracing walk and undemanding but reasonable eateries. Quality is poor but the ...   continue reading
By: Alexander Grant
Date: 01-01-2022 | 15:13:11
It was interesting to read your thoughts on Southend High Street, sadly I think it is beyond repair for a place to shop. As a child I remember visiting the town centre to meet friends, I would not allow my 15 year old daughter to spend any length of time in the area as it is frequented by drunks, homeless and visiting undesirables. I would pr ...   continue reading
By: Lisa (Thorpe Bay)

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