A spokesperson for Essex Police has confirmed that seven people were arrested after a furious row over school parking in Southend escalated into a street brawl yesterday – witnesses told Southend News Network that at one stage angry parents were fighting with a crossing patrol guard’s LOLLIPOP STICKS.
The argument began shortly after 8.30am on Tuesday outside Saxon King Primary School in Fairfax Drive, around one mile from the town centre. According to one local resident, the trouble was ignited by two motorists who were trying to squeeze into the only parking space outside the school.
He said: ‘We have had years of problems outside the school as everything is either double-yellow lines or zig-zags – a single space is available and we have been telling the council to get rid of it for ages now as kids have witnessed shocking scenes of violence in recent years.’
‘I have observed some minor scuffles in the past, but I think the return to school after the summer holidays made people crazier than normal. One parent was carefully lining up to park, and all of a sudden a people carrier recklessly speeded into the spot – this forced the other car to stop on the zig-zags next to the zebra crossing where a patrol guard was on duty.’
‘Both parents squared up to each other with their children next to them, and the language was appalling. One of the kids started making a fist-waving ‘w-word’ sign and he couldn’t have been older than seven or eight.’
‘Suddenly, one of the dads backed off for a moment and snatched the crossing guard’s lollipop. The other guy retreated in fear for a moment and somehow managed to grab the spare stick from the guard’s travel case – within moments they were both lunging forward, circle end first.’
‘About 25 spectators gathered round to watch the fight. It was like something out of Star Wars, except the lightsabers had been replaced with council-issued traffic calming apparatus.’
‘The showdown only lasted about three minutes as the slightly taller dad realised he could do a lot more damage with the pointy end. He rammed it into his opponent’s stomach and at that point five other parents stepped in as enough was enough.’
‘A riot van full of police officers arrived shortly after this and took all seven men into custody. It was probably just as well as the other guy had managed to stand up and he was about to use the stick as a makeshift shovel and catapult for a fresh dog poo that was laying on the pavement.’
A statement was released by Southend Borough Council later in the day. Borough Traffic Calming Manager Terence Towlton confirmed that there would be an urgent review of guard-operated crossings outside schools.
He added: ‘We may be forced to remove lollipop sticks from crossings if there continues to be a risk of members of the public using them as dangerous weapons.’
‘All guards have been told to leave their spare sticks at home as an emergency measure, and we have launched a feasibility study to get all Southend Borough sticks replaced with high-visibility foam versions.’
‘Also, we would encourage any residents close to problem parking schools to continue submitting evidence when there are ongoing issues with parking.’