Policing Minister visits Essex after success of hotspot policing trials
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An initiative created and piloted by Essex Police has been praised by Policing Minister Kit Malthouse in a visit to Southend.
Detective Chief Inspector Lewis Basford, who helps to run the force’s Serious Violence Unit, trialled hotspot policing in Southend as part of his Masters studies, and it has now been rolled out across the county, and the country.
After identifying hotspots with higher levels of violence in the town, we continued our commitment to visibility by implementing regular patrols in these areas throughout 2020.
As a result, we saw a 73.5% drop in violent crime and 31.9% fall in street crime on the days the hotspots were patrolled in comparison to the days they were not.
Detective Chief Inspector Lewis Basford said:
“We’re continuing to see results from hotspot policing, and I’m thrilled it’s been rolled out across the country.
“This is simply police doing high-visibility policing. It’s nothing new, but it does get results. I’m thrilled that police forces across the country are being given extra funds to continue this approach.
“We’re committed to tackling violent crime in Essex, and we know that one of the main factors of this type of crime in our county is the sale of drugs and the impact that has on our communities.
"Our Op Raptor teams, which tackles street and drugs gangs, made 272 arrests in the first six months of 2021, and we’ll continue to arrest the perpetrators of these cowardly, destructive crimes.”
Following the success of the hotspot policing trial, it was adopted by the Home Office under the operational name ‘Grip’ and has now been rolled out to 18 forces across the country.
These forces, including Essex, will receive additional funding from the Home Office to continue to fund these patrols.
Policing Minister Kit Malthouse visited Southend to take part in a hotspot patrol with DCI Basford and officers from our Operational Support Group on Thursday 16 September.
“The Government is working hard to confront violence in all its forms and make neighbourhoods safe.
“People want police officers visible on their streets, stopping violence and protecting people from harm and exploitation.
“That is what our smart new approach to hotspot policing does and I am delighted to see the tactic is already reducing high harm crime in some areas and look forward to this success being replicated in other towns and cities across the country.”
Deputy Chief Constable Andy Prophet added:
“We’re very proud to be leading the way in visible policing and tackling violent crime – which are two of the three priorities for our force.
“We’re continuing to protect and serve the people of Essex and this funding will help us to do more.
“We have dedicated teams – the Serious Violence Unit, our Op Raptor teams and our Disruptor teams – who are committed to disrupting violent crime across the county, and we’re doing a really good job.
“We also know that a lot of violent crime is committed by people who do not live in Essex and come here to cause trouble.
“Let me be clear – it’s not acceptable and you won’t get away with it.”