In a move that is likely to cause a great deal of controversy, Southend law and order chiefs have announced that from 1st February 2016, patrolling the town centre and preventing violent and criminal behaviour will become the responsibility of a ‘consortium’ headed up by popular East End enforcer Brick Top. It is rumoured that the former king of the capital’s unlicensed boxing scene is currently looking for new opportunities in the wake of the emerging match-fixing scandal that is rocking the tennis world.

In an interview, he said: ‘I’ve seen what the streets of Southend can be like after 10pm on a Friday and a Saturday, and these busy little b*stards have been getting away with it for too long. We could just drip-dry them if need be, but we’re hoping that it doesn’t come to that. What you have to bear in mind is that South Essex has a number of pig farms, which means that my preferred method of dispatch will always be available if things get a little bit lary.’

We also asked Mr Top if standards of behaviour in Southend would improve under the watchful eye of his consortium. He said: ‘You bet your b*llocks to a barn dance they will. Do you know what nemesis means?’

The three-month trial period is likely to upset just as many people as it impresses, but law enforcement chiefs in the borough have confirmed that the decision was a ‘last resort’ due to growing concerns about night time behaviour that will ‘only get worse’ if the proposed Seaway development goes ahead.