POLICE officers have been tackling anti-social behaviour... on the water.

And they have been using their latest weapon in a crackdown on antisocial behaviour.

Essex Police’s marine unit were out on their new PWC – personal watercraft – on the River Blackwater.

The crackdown was part of Operation Wavebreaker which was launched to tackle antisocial behaviour on Essex’s waterways.

Officers from the marine unit, which is based in Burnham but covers the county’s coastline, spoke to 14 people on personal watercraft and sailors responsible for two boats about speed limits.

A spokesman said: “The marine unit wouldn’t have been able to engage with these people without the PWC.

“It’s drastically increased their scope to tackle antisocial behaviour in time for Antisocial Behaviour Awareness Week.”

The UK’s first ever Antisocial Behaviour Awareness Week was launched on Monday.

The marine unit has seen reports of antisocial behaviour increase in relation to the use of personal watercraft on the Blackwater and Colne rivers, and at Brightlingsea and Point Clear as summer brings more people to the county’s coastlines and waterways.

The unit is made up of six police officers, two special constables and a specialist marine technician, who police 562 miles of coastlines and waterways from the Thames at Crayford Ness to the River Stour in Manningtree.

The officers can gain access to the county’s more narrow waterways with their new craft to help them tackle rogue behaviour.

They also have an Alert IV launch boat and a Sentinel - a rigid-hulled inflatable boat or Rhib.

The new machine was donated to the unit by Maldon District Council earlier this month.

As part of the awareness week, Maldon police also held a Facebook live question and answer session yesterday for the public.

They were joined by a representative from Chelmsford City Council and the rural community officer Les Davis.

Anti-social behaviour can be reported on 101.