Op Community: Targeting park ASB in Castle Point and Rochford
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A new operation is underway in Castle Point and Rochford after community feedback about anti-social behaviour in the districts’ most popular parks.
Operation Green Space has been running since the end of June and sees Community Policing Team (CPT) officers conducting patrols of 12 parks to provide a highly visible presence and engage with those enjoying the outdoors.
Young people said they would feel safer if they saw more officers in the parks and wanted to talk to them when they were there, so the CPT have been heading to the public spaces at busy times and making themselves known.
Incidents of anti-social behaviour fell by 21% in Castle Point and 28% in Rochford in the 12 months to June, with 408 fewer incidents reported.
Inspector David Kealy of Castle Point Rochford CPT devised the operation and wants people to tell his team if they have any concerns.
He said: “We received reports of behaviour in parks that was unacceptable, and the public told us they sometimes felt unsafe in those areas. The parks are for everyone to enjoy, nobody should be intimidated.
“The officers are out there interacting with people, gathering intelligence, and disrupting any anti-social behaviour. Their presence deters people from causing trouble, and those people using the park for leisure know we are there should anything happen.
“The feedback has been really positive. Families have appreciated seeing us and people feel reassured.
“It’s hugely important that we act on the public’s concerns. We are there to serve the community and if we are being told there is a problem, we can build a picture of what is going on.
“We are working hard to combat anti-social behaviour and the latest figures are encouraging but I still believe ASB is being underreported.
“The public are vital in helping us fight anti-social behaviour and I want them to be confident in our ability to tackle it. If you witness or experience ASB, report it online via our website or to the council.”
The public spaces are:
Rayleigh: King George V Park
Hawkwell: Clements Hall and Magnolia Park
Ashingdon: King George’s Field
Rochford: Rochford Recreation Ground and Rochford Reservoir
Hadleigh: John Burrows Park
Benfleet: Woodside Park and Tarpots Recreation Park
Canvey: Thorney Bay Park, Kismet Park, and King George V Playing Field
Op Green Space forms part of Op Community, a new initiative that will see significant numbers of officers from all areas of the force taking part in days of action to combat issues raised by local people in every district across the county.
This enhanced engagement and crime prevention operation takes a proactive approach that emphasises listening to the local community, problem-solving, and investigating all concerns to achieve positive outcomes.
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