Lakeside: Officers crack down on anti-social behaviour this Christmas
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Extra patrols to deter anti-social behaviour will be taking place at Lakeside shopping centre throughout Christmas.
As the centre enters its busiest trading weeks of the year, officers will be maintaining a highly visible presence in and around the retail areas and transport hubs.
Lakeside welcomes more than 20 million visitors a year to its shops, restaurants and leisure facilities but with that brings an increased risk of attracting those determined to misbehave or break the law.
Lakeside and Chafford Hundred were designated as one of 11 hotspots across the county to receive part of a £1.1m investment by the Essex’s Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner under Operation Dial.
The funding is provided by central government as part of their Anti-Social Behaviour Strategy and is designed to deliver high visibility patrols, public engagement, targeted youth outreach and early intervention.
Over the course of the operation, our officers will work alongside Thurrock Council’s community safety team to complete more than 2,000 hours of patrols and eight nights of action to combat issues ranging from nuisance behaviour from teenagers through to misuse of vehicles in the centre’s car parks.
ASB has fallen in the district of Thurrock by 30.9% in the last 12 months with 776 fewer offences recorded. Across Essex, ASB is down by 37% in a year, with offences down by more than 9,000.
Sergeant Lyndsey Chapman of Lakeside Community Policing Team said her team take a strong line on ASB at the family-friendly venue.
“Having uniformed officers out on patrol is a huge deterrent for anyone committing ASB or criminal offences. The public are very supportive and feel reassured, and the security team and shop workers like knowing we are there when they need us. We get a lot of positive comments.
“Lakeside is a popular destination, especially for young people, because there are a lot of attractions and places to eat, and it’s easy to get to.
“However, shoppers can find large groups of youngsters intimidating. What might start off as nothing more than some boisterous teenagers can develop into anti-social behaviour and other offending. That’s why we try to step in early to prevent issues from escalating.
“We work closely with the British Transport Police and the Lakeside security team to identify and apprehend anyone who causes trouble. Banning orders have been issued to individuals at our request.”
Sgt Chapman also wants to encourage the public to report instances of anti-social or criminal behaviour when they witness them.
She said: “If the public have seen behaviour that makes them feel intimidated or uncomfortable, we want them to tell our officers, alert the centre’s security team or call 101. If a crime is in progress, always call 999.”
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