NUISANCE jet ski pilots who put lives at risk will no longer be beyond the reach of the police, with officers needing to be reinforced with new high-powered vehicles.
As Southend Council plans to introduce tough new rules on the use of jet skis, it has been revealed that Essex Police have purchased two ‘powerful jet skis capable of outrunning most watercraft’.
Public protection adviser Martin Terry made the revelation at a cabinet meeting when he warned rowdy passengers they could no longer escape capture by police.
Mr Terry said: “We have people from All Hallows in Kent. They come to Leigh for a few beers and jump on their high-powered jet skis. Some of them go over 40 mph. We bring them in from Wat Tylers in Basildon to do the same thing, basically brag and the fear is there is going to be a tragedy.
“I will let the jet ski community know that Essex Police have purchased some very fast jet skis. Some of these jet skis are so powerful they would outrun a typical boat used by marine police. no longer the case so if you want to come to Southend and cause trouble you will be stopped by Essex Police.
“They have faster jet skis than you will ever have.”
Council will present an extension to a Public Spaces Protection Order covering the whole of Southend seafront following a public consultation. Jet skiers will only be able to take off from designated launch sites in Southend and Shoebury, and a 400m exclusion zone will be introduced.
Mr Terry said: “What this policy allows us to do is issue fixed penalty notices to these people if they breach our safe operations policy.
“I’ve had emails before saying ‘Thank God you’re going to do something about it’. I’ve had complaints from cold water swimmers, the fishing industry, paddleboarders about the behavior of jet ski operators Not all of them are like that but there is a hard core that seems to think they can do whatever they want.
Mr Terry added: “We’ve seen tragic and worrying circumstances and you wonder about the mentality of people who think it’s a good idea to come to the beach with a disposable barbecue and when they’re done, l ‘bury in the sand and leave someone to walk on it and get a third degree burn. It really happened.