Local Policing

31st July 2019

The introduction of dedicated Town Centre Policing Teams for Loughton and Waltham Abbey has been welcomed by Epping Forest MP Dame Eleanor Laing.

Investment in more policing in town centres across Essex sees 58 constables based in 23 locations across the county to deal with "issues on your doorstep".

As part of Essex Police’s dedication to visible, frontline officers, the constables - which locally see two covering Loughton and two in Waltham Abbey with the teams led by a sergeant who also covers Brentwood - will tackle the most prominent issues in their communities.

Dame Eleanor said: "I am delighted that these additional officers are now working in Loughton and Walham Abbey and will be a visible presence for local people who I hope will come to know their local officers who wil focus on community concerns, including drug dealing and anti-social behaviour." 

The additional policing numbers for Essex were highlighted by Chelmsford MP Vicky Ford in the House of Commons last Thursday when she asked the new Prime Minister whether Essex would "get its fair share" of the 20,000 additional officers proposed by Boris Johnson.

Mr Johnson, reply to Mrs Ford's question, paid tribute to the work of Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, Roger Hirst, "who I think is also helping to deliver the numbers achieved".

Under the guidance of their sergeants, they will work closely with businesses and support groups to get to the root of ongoing issues and tensions and investigate appropriately. 

Businesses experiencing issues with the night-time economy, like bars and clubs, will also be supported in the reduction of crime and anti-social behaviour.

Through monitoring reported crime, detailed discussions with District Commander Chief Inspector Lewis Basford about areas of need, targeted public surveys, and consideration of town population, the force has been able to target towns which will most clearly benefit from an increase in police presence.

The Essex Police Gypsy Traveller and Rural Engagement Team will also be growing from September with four new constables and a sergeant, followed by additional officers in early next year. 

Speaking about the creation of the Town Centre Teams, Chief Constable BJ Harrington said: “My priorities for the force are clear: we will be visible to deter crime in the community, we will provide better and consistent support to victims and to the vulnerable and we will act against anyone who is intent on inflicting violence in our county.

“With the introduction of the Town Centre Teams, we can be at the centre of these conversations.

"The public know their local area the best, and so do local officers who can put their boots on the ground and their faces in the village hall. 

"If people have got an issue, or suspect criminal acts are taking place in their community, I need them to feel comfortable reporting it to us. 

"If we work together we can keep the tide turning and put a stop to anti-social behaviour, drug dealing, and other insidious crimes that cause irreparable harm to families, friends and whole communities.

“With a record number of officers passing out in a single ceremony last month, our force is continuing to grow. I am so proud we’re able to have response-trained officers to answer your 999 calls and, on top of that, provide additional officers to your community.”

The Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, Roger Hirst, said: “Good local policing is at the heart of all safe, prosperous communities. 

"These town centre teams mark a significant investment and will allow Essex Police to work even more closely with residents and businesses to create the safe and secure communities we all need to prosper.

“Increasing the local, visible nature of policing, cracking down on anti-social behaviour and working with communities and businesses to prevent crime were key priorities in my 2016 Police and Crime Plan. 

"This announcement is another significant step in delivering a policing service for Essex that listens and responds to the needs of the people of Essex.”  

Eleanor on Twitter

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