Southend: Town Centre Team more than doubles in size
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The team responsible for keeping the centre of Southend safe has more than doubled in size after nine additional officers joined.
The Town Centre Team was formed in 2019 to focus on the area from the top of the High Street and adjacent streets, including Warrior Square, down to the seafront and along Marine Parade.
Initially the team comprised of six PCs and one sergeant but that has now increased to 15 PCs and two sergeants.
Inspector Paul Hogben of the Community Policing Team explained why the public can now expect to see more officers in the central shopping and business district.
“Southend is one of the busiest seaside destinations in the country and since the easing of lockdown restrictions we have seen a rise in the footfall entering the centre of the city.
“As a result, we are increasing our presence to reassure the public and keep them safe. The centre and seafront have historically been our biggest crime hotspots, so we are dedicating more resources into the area where we expect to see the most disorder.”
The Town Centre Team will maintain a constant visible presence in the centre of Southend and will deal with anti-social behaviour, combat high-harm criminal activity such as robbery and knife possession, and deter the disorder associated with excessive alcohol consumption.
They will also be responsible for the Project Servator deployments where significant numbers of officers from a variety of policing teams conduct high-visibility patrols in specific areas of the city.
The Town Centre Team work closely with partners including the city council’s community safety officers and the local BID (Business Improvement District) Rangers who are both regularly involved in police deployments and are an invaluable source of information.
Despite the increased police presence in central Southend, Insp Hogben said the city continues to be a safe place to live and work and the public shouldn’t be concerned.
He said: “We don’t want people to be alarmed, we want people to get used to seeing uniformed officers. We’re not there because something bad has happened or we think it might, this is all about preventing crime, helping people and keeping them safe.”
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