Number: A 0609 Date Published: 18 January 2023 Versiion 4, January 2023
1.0 Summary of Changes
This procedure has undergone its three yearly review. A new EIA has been linked.
No change to procedure content has been made.
It should be read by officers and staff who give advice to the public on crime prevention
2.0 What this Procedure is about
This procedure explains how Essex Police personnel should give crime prevention advice to the general public.
Essex Police recognises that its officers and staff are often asked to give crime prevention or crime reduction advice during the course of an investigation into a reported crime or incident. This procedure is not intended to deter this practice but to assist in setting out a clear structure enabling us to provide a quality service to the public on how best to protect themselves against the further commission of a crime or anti-social behaviour.
Compliance with this procedure and any governing policy is mandatory.
3.0 Detail the Procedure
Opportunities for Essex Police staff to give crime prevention advice to a victim will occur on a daily basis following a crime or anti-social behaviour incident.
Other opportunities will occur following a spate of incidents within an area or a national incident that will increase the fear of crime for individuals or whole communities.
Staff may be approached to advise on general security at a variety of premises, homes, commercial premises, places of faith, education etc. They may give advice on the security of property, vehicles and personal safety to members of the public for reassurance and to help prevent them from becoming a future or repeat victim of crime.
Where possible staff should direct any request to appropriately trained members of staff as detailed below, Essex Police website or recognised ACPO and Government web sites dedicated to crime prevention, such as the Home Office.
Essex Police has a number of staff trained and qualified in specific roles that can give advice in relation to a specific crime problem:
Crime Prevention Advisors – for general crime prevention advice;
Architectural Liaison Officers - for designing out crime and CP advice;
Counter Terrorist Security Advisers – who provide preventive advice concerning the possibility of terrorist attack. Further information is available from www.nactso.gov.uk;
Public Protection Dept – providing domestic violence and personal safety advice;
Firearms Licensing Officers - security of firearms.
3.1 Advice to be Given
Essex Police recognises the responsibility to provide sound advice concerning crime prevention. Therefore advice should not be given without proper consideration of the circumstances and in particular officers and staff should comply with the following:
Make sure that you are aware of the current crime trends in the area including any prevalent methods used to commit crime. Best advice should be based on the information received, local knowledge and an assessment of the risks posed to the particular member of the public;
Gather information from the occupant concerning:
Their daily routine including when the premises are unoccupied;
Any high value or high risk items stored within the premises;
Any information concerning aspects of particular vulnerability.
Give a range of options to deal with the problem, taking care not to prioritise the options;
Verify whether or not there are any specific insurance conditions requiring a particular level of security;
Where possible encourage the use of products and services that conform to British and European, PAS and LPCB Standards.
Advice at this level is based largely upon common sense, however officers and members of staff must be sure as to the accuracy of information they are providing, particularly where they provide an interpretation concerning legislation.
In particular, the installation of a CCTV system providing additional security for a domestic property will not amount to a beach of the Human Rights Act, provided the view set within the system was both reasonable and necessary to providing the additional security. In doubt seek advice from the Force CCTV Liaison Officer (located within HQ LPSU).
If the officer or member of staff requires more detailed advice they should refer the matter to a Crime Prevention Advisor (located within each LPA) Senior Architectural Liaison Officer (located at HQ LPSU) or other appropriate specialist department.
Under no circumstances should negative or unproven advice be provided, e.g.,
“Given the circumstances, I do not feel you need an alarm system”, “You will not get burgled if you buy a dog”.
Where technical advice is required concerning intruder alarms, the installation of CCTV or any other electronic security product the matter would be better referred to a Crime Prevention Advisor, A Senior Architectural Liaison Officer or the Force CCTV Liaison Officer. Further advice is available from the Local Policing Support Unit intranet page.
Advice concerning Chief Officers Council`s initiatives ‘Secured by Design’ and the ‘Safer Parking Award - Park Mark` must be referred to the Senior Architectural Liaison Officer (ALO) who represents Essex Police concerning both initiatives.
Any written record of the crime prevention advice given should include the following:
Any security advice or information contained in this letter, report or email (including attachments) suggests measures that may be useful in deterring and or delaying criminal activity. Implementation of the advice given is not intended as a guarantee against becoming a victim of a crime in the future. Where the information contains details of the suppliers of goods or services, this information should not be construed as a personal recommendation but merely as details of companies who will be able to satisfy your security needs;
No contract, either express or implied, has been entered into between you and Essex Police, its staff, agents or servants;
Essex Police cannot be held responsible for any disputes arising from contracts entered into between you and such companies.
The intention should be to reduce crime, the fear of crime and victims of crime, deter and prevent future incidents whilst re-assuring the public that our advice is up to date, cost commensurate, balanced and proportionate to the problem.
4.0 Equality Impact Assessment
EIA – December 2022
5.0 Risk Assessment
The only risks associated with this procedure relate to the reputation of the organisation. Officers and staff must be aware that victims of crime will consult Essex Police for information which will assist them in reducing their exposure to becoming a victim of crime in the future.
Such information will be provided in the form of crime prevention advice. Officers and staff must ensure any advice given complies with the requirements detailed within this procedure. A failure to do so may well damage reputation and expose Essex Police to litigation.
Whenever advice is given, the recipient must be made aware that it is provided to the best or our ability and implementation of the advice given is not a guarantee that they will not be a victim of crime in the future. It is possible that in extreme cases Essex Police could be subject to claims of vicarious liability.
Where a full survey is undertaken by a specialist officer or member of staff they should remind the occupant that installation of any security equipment may require them to consider contacting appropriate persons in relation to planning and building regulations, fire regulations and health and safety regulations.
Before attending non-police property to give security advice or carry out a survey all officers and staff must consider a risk assessment, the need for PPE and whether or not, conflict management or other specialist training is required. How will attendance at the addressed be managed i.e., phoning before arrival and on departure to ensure staff are safe.
The following have been consulted during the formulation of this document:
Health & Safety
7.0 Monitoring and Review
This procedure will be monitored by, or on behalf, of the Head of Local Policing Command every three years to ensure that it remains accurate and fit for purpose.
8.0 Governing Force policy.
Related Force policies or related procedures
A 0600 Policy – Community Policing
8.1 Data Security
Essex Police have measures in place to protect the security of data in accordance with our Information Management Policy – W 1000 Policy – Information Management.
8.2 Retention & Disposal of Records
Essex Police will hold data in accordance with our Records Review, Retention & Disposal Policy – W 1012 Procedure/SOP - Records Review, Retention and Disposal.
We will only hold data for as long as necessary for the purposes for which we collected. Victims/public should be reminded that Essex Police take the protection of personal data seriously as described in the privacy notice.
9.0 Other source documents, e.g., legislation, Authorised Professional Practice (APP), Force forms, partnership agreements (if applicable)