A LARGE group of youths aimed fireworks at police officers during a night of dangerous behaviour which lasted for hours.

Essex Police was forced to put in a dispersal order from 9pm on November 5 for the town centre, which meant youngsters could be sent out of the area and arrested if they returned.

Sgt Mark McQuade, from the Castle Point and Rochford Community Policing Team, said: “The behaviour we witnessed from groups of young people in Canvey last night was nothing short of dangerous.

“Some individuals within the groups lit fireworks and aimed them at our officers, who were trying to ensure that everyone had a safe and pleasant evening.

“It is lucky that no-one was hurt and we are making further enquiries to identify those who attempted to assault our officers.

“We want to be sure that a minority of people don’t put others at risk with their reckless behaviour and we have increased our patrols in the town centre to ensure that this type of anti-social behaviour does not continue.”

He encouraged parents of children involved in anti-social behaviour to get in touch as they work with partners, such as youth group Yellow Door to help stop the behaviour.

Residents were left horrified by the actions of the youngsters which began again after the five hour dispersal order was lifted.

Patricia Howsego, 71, of Elm Road, Canvey, said: “About 60 teenagers bombarded the road this morning, aiming rockets in people’s gardens and at each other. It’s bad enough them being up the road every night, but it’s very frightening.” Councillor Peter Greig added: “I’m not surprised that this has happened. It is an ongoing problem.”