Crime in Essex has decreased by more than 5% during the past two years
Across our county, 158,991 crimes were recorded between 1 January and 31 December 2021, a 5.5% decrease compared with pre-pandemic 2019. That’s more than 25 crimes a day.
“Any drop in crime is good news and we are determined to reinforce this and maintain the downward trend during 2022. “As a force, we continually strive for a county in which people feel safe and communities and businesses thrive. Our top priorities are to prevent, investigate and tackle crime and anti-social behaviour and to develop new ways to tackle these challenges, while bringing those responsible to justice. “We will also continue to identify those who are most vulnerable and at risk, safeguard them from exploitation and divert people from any harmful behaviour. “The causes of crime are increasingly complex. The pandemic has brought great change to our society and to the way criminals commit crime. We have refreshed our crime prevention strategy to address this. “We work with partners on a ‘whole-system’ approach to tackle the contributory causes to crime, so we can solve the problems, stop criminals before they commit crime and prevent it happening in the future. “We are committed to doing everything we can to address these challenges and keep our communities safe places to live, work and visit. “But remember, everyone has a role in preventing crime. So, if you know something about a crime or criminal activity, please report it to us. We need your information to help us to make Essex even safer.” Chief Constable Ben-Julian Harrington
Across Essex, teams of specialist officers are committed to targeting criminals who cause the most serious threat, harm and risk to their victims and our communities. They use information and intelligence provided by our communities to tackle and prevent serious violence, drugs and sexual offences, night-time economy disorder and the impact of criminal gangs.
Our highly-effective Serious Crime Directorate continues to tackle serious and organised crime and, working with forces across the Eastern Region, we continue to prevent and deal with cyber-enabled crime.
Our Operation Raptor officers focus on drugs and those intent on supplying them. The North team, which targets County Lines and drug dealers in the Braintree, Chelmsford, Colchester, Clacton, Harwich, Maldon and Witham areas, last year saw 50 drug dealers convicted and sentenced to a total of 212.5 years in jail.
And, following an initiative piloted by our Serious Violence Unit, ‘hotspot policing’ has been rolled out across Essex and to 18 other forces.
We identified hotspots in Southend experiencing higher levels of violence and officers were deployed on regular, high-visibility patrols. During the pilot, there was a 73.5% drop in violent crime and a 31.9% fall in street crime on the days the hotspots were patrolled in comparison to the days they were not.
Through our work with the Safer Essex Roads Partnership (SERP) on Vision Zero – lowering the number of road deaths to zero in 2040 - our Roads Policing Units carry out regular proactive patrols and operations to target criminals using our road network.
Between 1 December 2021 and 2 January 2022, roads policing officers conducted 1,216 breath tests while 280 motorists were arrested on suspicion of drink or drug-driving, or for failing to provide a specimen. This was a significant fall from the 403 arrested in December 2019.
Meanwhile, our Town Centre Teams have provided a highly-visible and proactive presence in their towns and played a part in successfully reducing crimes in the areas in which they operate. And our Rural Engagement Team continues to prevent crime and tackle issues in rural locations.
Alongside them, our Community Policing Teams play a key role in solving local issues and preventing crime and anti-social behaviour in the first place. During the past year they have been renewing links with organisations and partner agencies in their communities as we’ve come out of lockdown.
This joint working means they can look at problems from all angles and work on solutions to the causes, rather than just the effects.
Tell us what you know
If you see something which you feel needs police attention, or you have information about a crime or criminal activity, please report it to us.
If it’s a crime in progress, always ring 999.
Otherwise you can report it online at www.essex.police.uk or use the 'Live Chat' button to speak to an online operator between 7am and 11pm. Alternatively, you can ring 101.
You can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously online or by calling 0800 555 111.