Police have advised people to only travel into Central Southend ‘if it is absolutely necessary’ after rioting erupted shortly after 8.30pm when all pubs, bars and off licences in the area ran out of Lambrini and ‘the slightly cheaper version of White Lightning.’
Witnesses at the scene have spoken about complete and total devastation, and a police spokesperson has slammed the current levels of criminality that are on display.
Local reveller Chloe Inebrio said: ‘I came into town after work with some of my girl friends to relax, and we couldn’t find a single shop with any Lambrini left. We find that White Lightning is a bit pricey, and we were amazed to see that the other slightly cheaper stuff with the blue-ish label wasn’t available all over town – you know the stuff that could be mistaken for brown artisan paint stripper.’
‘We have split up to go and check inside every branch of Londis between Hadleigh and Shoeburyness, but we’re not confident about being able to drink ourselves stupid tonight without spending more than a fiver each.’
Although Chloe and her friends were able to take a mature approach to the low-range drink shortage, it emerged that around 500 people did not take the news well – the emergency services have estimated that there are currently 24 separate fires in the town centre.’
Det Cons Norman Warman said: ‘Some of the roads leading off the High Street now resemble a warzone, and we currently have more than 200 officers dealing with looting.’
‘Thankfully, most high-value retailers moved away from Southend High Street years ago, so the worst-case scenario is that some phone cases worth tens of pounds will need to be replaced.’