New Government regulations relating to COVID-19 came into force on Wednesday 16 December and, depending on where you live, you will either be in Tier 2 or Tier 3.

We all have a responsibility to ensure we are sticking to the rules.

The areas remaining in Tier 2 are:

  • Colchester
  • Tendring
  • Uttlesford

We know that being in Tier 2 may mean you’re out and about a bit more and, with the nights getting darker, we’d encourage you to re-read our guide on keeping your home secure.

It might be that you want to invest in CCTV or alarms, timers for lights, or leave the radio or TV on when you leave the house. We’d encourage you to take whatever small steps you can to deter burglars.  

The areas in Tier 3 are:

  • Basildon
  • Brentwood
  • Harlow
  • Epping Forest
  • Castle Point
  • Rochford
  • Maldon
  • Braintree
  • Chelmsford
  • Southend
  • Thurrock

Between the 23 and 27 December, you will be able to form Christmas bubbles to allow for you to celebrate with a limited number of family members.

You can see the new regulations about the Tiers and Christmas bubbles on the government’s website

We know that this year has been difficult and challenging. We have all had to make sacrifices.

Our officers are following the Government regulations, both on and off duty, and we want to thank everyone across Essex for doing the same.

The policing approach in Essex has been, and will continue to be, to engage with the public, explain the regulations, and encourage them to do the right thing.

We’ve had more than 20,000 conversations with the public since April but had to issue relatively few fines.

This shows our approach is working and the vast majority of people across Essex are doing the right thing. We appreciate the sacrifices you’re making.

However, where reasoned conversations have not worked, and it is appropriate and necessary to do so, we will take enforcement action.

We will continue to respond to reports of clear and blatant breaches of regulations and where they take place we will act.

This is not about ruining people’s fun or their Christmas – we know that important events haven’t been the same this year. We have all missed out, but the virus is still here and we need people to keep themselves and others safe.

If you want to report a clear and blatant breach you can do so using our digital 101 system on our website.

Between 7am-11pm, you will be able to make an online report directly to one of our digital 101 operators, by selecting the 'Live Chat' button at the bottom of the page.

This will ensure the information you provide is dealt with as quickly as possible.
Alternatively, you can make an online report or call 101.

By doing the right thing you give us more time to do what we do best – help people, keep people safe, and catch criminals.

Following a series of raids across London, Essex and Surrey last week, five people were arrested and charged for allegedly committing drugs-related offences.

This week alone, officers have brought a number of high-profile cases to court. Three people have been convicted of the murder of Southend man Lee Chapman, a drug dealer from Harlow has been jailed for almost six years, and two men from Colchester were jailed for eight years for possessing a rifle and three sawn-off shotguns.

Sticking to the regulations means we can continue to do more of this work.

Thank you and stay safe Essex.