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Appeal for witnesses after "unacceptable" assault

We would urge anyone with information to come forward. Such behaviour is totally unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Our staff have a right to go about their jobs without facing fear, intimidation or abuse of any kind.

– Jay Thompson, Greater Anglia's Head of Safety

Anyone with information is asked to contact to British Transport Police on 0800 40 50 40 quoting background reference B7/LNA of 16/04/2013. Information can also be passed to the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

Station staff member punched in chest during assault

Around 5.15pm, a man, who had verbally abused two women outside Southend Victoria station, followed them through the ticket barriers and onto the station platform. The women reported the man’s behaviour to a member of station staff, who confronted him and asked to show a valid ticket. As he was only in possession of a child’s ticket, a member of staff escorted him out from the train, and towards the station entrance. At the ticket barriers, the man began to verbally abuse the staff member, before punching him in the chest and making off from the scene.

– PC Melvyn Owen, BTP

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CCTV released after station staff member assaulted

British Transport Police want to speak to this man Credit: British Transport Police

British Transport Police is appealing for information after a member of station staff was assaulted on board a train at Southend Victoria station.

Investigators have released CCTV of a man they would like to speak to in connection with the incident, which took place on Monday, 25 March.

Rival culture bid towns "absolute dumps"

Hastings Old Town Credit: Press Association

An Essex MP has angered people bidding for the title UK City of Culture by branding rival towns as "absolute dumps". David Amess, MP for Southend East is leading the bid for the accolade in Essex.

He's suggested that the other towns bidding for the City of Culture accolade are not up to scratch. But Hastings Council Leader Jeremy Birch insists his town's bid is serious and has invited David Amess to Hastings for a guided tour.

"I don't know when he last visited our town, indeed if he ever has. We can take him to the Jerwood Gallery and to the De la Warr," said Cllr Birch

"Perhaps a walk in the Country Park and then in the evening, we can listen to three piano concertos played by the competition finalists. But the coffee is on him! Hastings and Bexhill have every reason to bid for City of Culture status."

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More than 300 new pilot roles for easyJet

easyJet flies from both Gatwick and Southend airports. Credit: PA

easyJet has announced 330 new jobs for pilots as part of is new "career structure"

The new permanent First Officer positions will be offered across all 11 of easyJet’s UK bases, including Gatwick and Southend.

The first roles will be given to pilots employed by the company's aviation training partners.

Crook dresses like cartoon thief

Have you seen these men? Credit: Essex Police

All that was missing from these two thieves' outfits was a mask and a "bag of swag" after they raided a supermarket.

Police are now trying to trace the pair, caught on camera burgling a Waitrose store in Fossetts Way, Southend, on Christmas Eve.

Officers said they stole two cameras and X-box controllers.

Anyone who can name them is asked to call Dc Paul Brown on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

Have you seen this man? Credit: Essex Police

Southend bucks the house price trend

Southend bucks the trend when it comes to house prices Credit: Press Association

Southend has seen the biggest rise in house prices among the country's major towns and cities over the past year.

According to the Halifax the average selling price in the seaside resort was 14.8% higher than the previous year, rising to £198,418 by the end of 2012, compared with an improvement of 2.1% on average across the whole of Essex.

Basingstoke in Hampshire experienced the second biggest rise in house prices with a 14.7% gain, while three more towns within commuting distance of London - Rochester, St Albans and Dartford - make up the top five.

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