Three men jailed over CCTV footage of Southend robbery

(L-R) Donamiche Scarlett, Akiff Ali and Ervin Balliu

Men were all from east London

Three men were jailed last Friday, May 4, after pleading guilty to a robbery in Southend.

Donamiche Scarlett, 23, of Daniels Road, Peckham, and Akiff Ali, 20, of Mannin Road, Romford, pleaded guilty to robbery at Basildon Crown Court on Friday, April 13.

Ervin Balliu, 20, of Medici Close, Ilford, admitted robbery and being in possession of a knife in a public place.

All three were sentenced at Basildon Crown Court.

At around 4.40am on Saturday, January 20, a man was walking in Lucy Road when Ali ran up to him and wrestled him to the ground.

Balliu and Scarlett assisted Ali in holding the victim down before they took a three-figure sum of cash out of his pocket.

Shortly before the incident, two officers had been viewing council CCTV at the scene using their mobile phones.

They responded and arrested all three men following a foot chase. Balliu was then found to be in possession of a lock knife.

Balliu was sentenced to 42 months in jail, while Scarlett and Ali were each handed a 40 month jail term.

Investigating officer Dc Andrew Coles, of Southend CID, said: “This case is a fantastic example of how we use our mobile phones to respond to live incidents.

“The technology was extremely helpful and invaluable in helping officers make these arrests following this robbery and also other arrests following other violent crimes and the fact that these three offenders have been jailed today is immensely satisfying for our team here in Southend.

“Thank you to the victim for supporting the investigation. I hope it brings some closure for him and his family and helps him move on after this awful incident.”

In October 2016, Southend CID issued 2,000 new smart phones to officers through our Mobile First programme.

These phones provide ‘apps’ that allow our officers to access local CCTV to view as-it-happens footage.

Dc Coles continued: “In this case, police officers arrived on scene in less than a minute after viewing CCTV on their police smartphones, which is an excellent resource for us in Southend.”

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