MARINE cops have been using their latest weapon in a crackdown on antisocial behaviour.

Essex Police’s Burnham-based 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 the county’s waterways.

Officers from the marine unit spoke to 14 people on PWCs and 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.

As part of the initiative, Maldon police held a Facebook live question and answer session on Tuesday for the public.

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

The marine unit has seen reports of antisocial behaviour increase in relation to the use of PWCs 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 PWC to tackle rogue behaviour.

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

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

Antisocial behaviour can be reported on 101.