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A new operation is underway in Harlow to crack down on anti-social behaviour in the town centre.
The pedestrianised streets around Market Square, Broad Walk and the Water Gardens have seen people congregating to drink alcohol, nuisance behaviour from groups of youngsters and the illegal riding of e-scooters.
Residents, business owners and those visiting the town centre told officers this behaviour left them feeling uncomfortable and intimidated.
As a result, Operation Shopper was launched. Now in into its third month, officers have undertaken an additional 250 hours of foot patrols, taken more than 100 alcoholic beverages from the hands of drinkers, and seized 75 e-scooters.
Harlow town centre is covered by a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) put in place by the council prohibits the public consumption of alcohol in the town centre, and the riding of privately owned e-scooters in public areas is illegal.
Harlow District Commander Chief Inspector Paul Austin said the increased visibility of officers in the town centre had been well received.
“I’ve been out on foot patrol and the public response has been excellent. People have told us that it’s reassuring to see a very visible police presence in the town centre.
“Previously, we had a lot of complaints about e-scooter riding and drinking alcohol in public spaces, nuisance from young people in the town and persistent begging. These issues really affect people’s quality of life.
“To seize 75 e-scooters from the pedestrianised areas in town is a success for us and people have commented on the lack of anti-social e-scooter riding in town recently, and how it’s good to see that we’re tackling the issues that really matter like anti-social drinking on the streets.
“As it starts to get darker earlier, people can expect to see officers throughout the town centre. This will continue throughout the winter months into 2023.
“So far, we’ve been really encouraged by the positive impact the operation is having and the response we’ve had from local people and businesses.”
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