Information that has been seen by Southend News Network has confirmed that Leigh On Sea is now the UK’s new KNIFE CRIME CAPITAL. In August 2016 alone, more than 129 knife-related offences were recorded in the town, and local council officials are growing ‘incredibly concerned’ at the trend.

Michael De Vasco, a graphic designer who lives on The Ridgeway, became the latest victim yesterday. He spoke to our reporter and revealed: ‘I walked into DeNoosh Kitchenware on Leigh Road and purchased what I thought in good faith was a Robert Welch Signature 6-piece set of kitchen knives for £399.99 – the trader threw in a Venetian granite chopping board as well.’

‘When I got home, it turned out to be a box containing a £9 set of knives from Lidl, and the chopping board was a pavement slab that he had stolen from outside his shop. I reported him to the police, but I was told that they already have an incredible backlog of kitchenware-related fraud cases to get through first.’

Chloe Pancetta, a 21 year old fashion engineer who lives near The Broadway, is also upset at becoming what she describes as ‘a statistic’ of Leigh knife crime.

She told our Chief Reporter: ‘I was enjoying lunch in Le Pamplemousse Confondu in Old Leigh, and I accidentally buttered my petit pain with a jam knife – there were eleven different knives on the table and I had already had a couple of glasses of Chateau de Cheval 1978.’

‘Within a few seconds, the manager grabbed me from my seat and threw me into the street. I suffered from concussion and a sprained pelvis, and I still haven’t received an apology as the local police are investigating.’

Leviathan Montrose-Nash, manager of Le Pamplemousse Confondu, wouldn’t speak to our reporter. We received a brief email statement from the managing company to say that a ‘Cutlery Etiquette Offence’ had been reported, but no further details were given.