Popular UK seaside town named as one of WORST in country for anti-social behaviour – but is it your favourite? | The Sun

A POPULAR UK seaside town has been named as one of the worst in the country for anti-social behaviour.

Clacton-on-Sea in Essex has an anti-social behaviour rate of 68 incidents for every 1,000 residents – the worst hotspot in the county and far above the UK average of 17.

Once a bustling resort which welcomed thousands of visitors from London's East End every summer, the town has now fallen into disrepair.

Canisters of nitrous oxide, also known as hippy crack, can be found littered along the seafront – with graffiti covering empty shops.

Residents told the Sun the town centre has a sense of foreboding thanks to menacing gangs of youths roaming the town and threatening residents in the evening.

Vanessa Bedford, 36, was horrified when yobs attacked her son during his shift at a fast food chain.

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"When my son worked in McDonald's he got thrown down the stairs because he refused to give some kids free ketchup," she claimed.

"He was regularly threatened and once got beaten up outside by a group of teenagers."

Vanessa, who lives in nearby Frinton and refused to be photographed because of fear of reprisals, was in town to do her shopping – the only thing she still comes into Clacton for.

"I've been threatened with a knife for telling a group of kids to stop harassing an old lady," she said.

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"They claimed they'd get me back. It's just a horrible atmosphere. I spend as little time as possible in the town."

Her fears about gangs of teens roaming the streets largely unchecked were echoed by many of the people we spoke to.

Several wanted to see a larger police presence in the town and claimed they rarely saw cops doing on-foot patrols.

Kebab shop worker Alex Evans, 37, won't walk home alone when her shift finishes at 9pm as she doesn't feel safe.

"We have a lot of fights around here on the weekends," she said.

"I've lived here for four years and it's steadily got worse and worse.

"Police do turn up if we call them when things kick off but I wish they'd have a bigger presence before things get violent."

Last year 646 arson attacks, 296 shoplifting incidents and 3,221 violent and sexual offences were reported, according to Crime Rate UK.

One resident who has witnessed the growing unpleasant atmosphere in the town centre is taxi driver Spike Spencer.

"There's a really nasty atmosphere in the town centre now," he said.

"Lots of shouting, swearing and kids chasing women. We don't get a lot of stabbings and stuff but it's just not nice to be in a place you feel frightened.

"I know the older generations feel intimidated by the swearing and shouting of the kids these days.

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"I regularly see people crossing the road if they see a group of kids walking towards them.

"Kids are just behaving in a very threatening way."

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