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Action to tackle anti-social behaviour caused by a group of young people travelling to Wivenhoe will include targeted and dedicated patrols.
We are investigating reports a group of around 20 young people have been harassing residents and damaging property in the town.
The group, which includes children between the ages of 12 and 18, has been seen to leave the train at Wivenhoe before engaging in anti-social behaviour, including throwing bricks around the churchyard at St Mary’s Church.
Over the past week, we have also received reports of shopkeepers, bar staff and members of the public receiving abuse and the doors to properties being damaged.
We received reports during the Easter holidays between the hours of around 1pm and 5pm.
Colchester’s Community Policing Team has conducted lengthy enquiries as they work to identify the perpetrators.
'We know how concerning this issue is for people'
PCSO Emma-Lea Wright spent five hours in Wivenhoe on Sunday, including hosting her regular Wivenhoe Community Drop-In Clinic.
“I spoke to numerous residents on Sunday afternoon whilst at my engagement and out and about on patrols.
“I spoke to residents, staff at local businesses who have witnessed this behaviour and who have been impacted by this group.
“I have been in contact with British Transport Police, youth services in Clacton and Walton’s PCSOs as we work to identify all those involved.”
Our officers have implemented a patrol plan, including maps detailing areas of concern, to ensure a careful watch is kept over trouble hotspots between the hours in question.
“As the community team, we know how concerning this issue is for people living and working in Wivenhoe,” said PCSO Wright.
“We are working tirelessly on this issue, using our strong working relationship with Wivenhoe Town Council and local businesses to ensure we are in the right places at the right times.
“My colleagues and I are passionate about tackling the problems our communities face, it’s why I’ve worked as a PCSO for the past 17 years.
“This means I am able to be a point of contact and foster a great working relationship with my community, councillors, partnership agencies and local businesses.”
Enquiries are progressing thanks in large part to reports to us from members of the public.
Once identified, we will work with our partner organisations and the culprits’ parents to prevent any further disorder.
We can do this through Acceptable Behaviour Contracts, agreements between young people, a local authority and the police in which the young person, witnessed by the parent or guardian, agrees not to be involved in specified anti-social acts.
It is not a legal document but can be used as evidence if subsequent enforcement action is taken.
PCSO Wright added:
“I can also visit their addresses and parents to make them aware of what their kids are up to and exactly how much of an impact they are making within the community of Wivenhoe.”
We are also urging residents not to post CCTV, videos and images of youths online or on social media, as this can interfere with our investigations and lead to unverified or inaccurate information being shared.
If you have any information, CCTV, dash cam or other footage in relation to these issues, then please get in contact with us.
Inspector Stuart Austin, of Colchester’s Community Policing Team, said:
“It is important to emphasise Wivenhoe is a safe area to live and work in.
“This thorough action taken by our PCSOs and officers shows our commitment to driving down anti-social behaviour quickly when it presents itself.
“I also want to thank members of the public who have contacted us on this issue. We rely on intelligence received to keep our communities safe, every report you make to us matters.”
Get in touch by submitting a report on our website or by using our online Live Chat service available Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays) between 10am-9pm.
Visit www.essex.police.uk/digital101 to find out more about our website reporting services.
Alternatively you can call us on 101.
Please quote reference number 42/69882/23.
If you would like to make an anonymous report you can contact independent charity @Crimestoppers, by visiting their website or by calling 0800 555 111.