A PATROL group attempting to cut crime and anti-social behaviour desperately needs residents to volunteer - but branded the first few months a success.

Canvey Patrol Group launched in November last year with a team keeping tabs on the island roughly three times a week.

But the community group has bigger ambitions - aiming for more regular patrols as well as purchasing a patrol car - but needs volunteers from the island to step up and take part.

At the moment, three Canvey residents have volunteered, while another two are signed up for training - but the group want to see roughly 20 residents dedicate time.

Current patrols are being carried out by residents from other parts of Essex, including Duncan Lamont, from Basildon, who spearheaded groups in Pitsea as well as in Southend.

He said: "A lot of residents have contacted us to say they believe it is having a positive effect.

"We had had lots of complaints about kids loitering outside the bingo hall, and issues with them gathering at takeaways or in the town centre.

"We have had positive reactions from some of the shops, and see it ourselves when the groups quite quickly disband when they see us patrolling.

"But we need the support from the community to continue.

"Ideally, when we are patrolling, we would have four groups of four members, at different locations across the island.

"And they would be supported by this patrol car, it would be modified and with sirens, much like a proper police car."

In another bid to curb crime, Canvey Town Council has agreed to fund five additional community special constables to patrol the island.

Initially branded as Guardian Angels groups, the group has rebranded as Street Safe patrol groups, and have already been set up in areas of Basildon and Southend, and are regularly seen patrolling in their identifiable red berets and uniforms.

Essex Police have said although they know community safety is a top priority for residents, they want to encourage people to do that through joining their Active Citizen scheme.