Anti-social behaviour in Essex falls by more than 30% in 12 months
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Incidents of anti-social behaviour (ASB) in Essex have dropped by 31.3% in the past year, with 8,562 fewer offences recorded.
Community policing teams across the county have been working closely with councils and local partners to combat issues including nuisance vehicles, street drinking, disruptive and intimidating behaviour, and the reckless riding of bikes and e-scooters.
There were 18,771 ASB offences recorded in the year to the end of May 2023. This compares to 27,333 ASB offences over the same period 12 months earlier.
In the same timeframe in 2017-18, there were 49,444 ASB incidents recorded. The most recent figures represent a 62% drop from this level.
Essex were one of 16 police forces given government funding to combat ASB with a focus on hotspot policing.
In March, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Home Secretary Suella Braverman visited Chelmsford to discuss the issues affecting Essex communities and learn how we’re tackling them.
The city has seen operations running to tackle aggressive begging and issues related to drugs and alcohol at the bus station, and to combat nuisance vehicles and speeding in Great Baddow, Hanningfield, Beaulieu and Rettendon. Offences in the district have fallen by 32% to 1,587, year-on-year.
In Harlow, Operation Shopper has seen more than 100 e-scooters seized that were being illegally ridden through the town, and hundreds of alcoholic drinks confiscated as officers enforced the terms of the town’s Public Space Protection Order (PSPO). The district has seen a 35.4% fall in ASB with 610 fewer incidents.
Two quad bikes were purchased in partnership with Thurrock Council after complaints about motorbikes. Bikers had been illegally accessing private land and using the borough’s green spaces as racetracks and subjecting residents to the drone of excessive engine noise. Across the district there were 869 fewer ASB incidents – a drop of 31.3%.
Southend Community Policing Team have been conducting additional patrols on the High Street after the council’s PSPO was updated to allow fines to be issued to people cycling or using e-scooters in a way that has a negative effect or poses a risk to pedestrians. There have been 1,292 fewer ASB incidents in the district in the past year.
Deputy Chief Constable Andy Prophet, who is also the NPCC lead for anti-social behaviour, said:
“From high streets to seafronts, transport hubs to parks and local housing estates – ASB is not something we should see as ‘low level’ or acceptable. It is not, it ruins lives and blights communities.
“The significant reduction in anti-social behaviour offences across Essex shows the work we are doing alongside our partners is having an impact.
“People have a right to live free from intimidation and harassment in their own communities. ASB is not a low-level offence and can have a great impact on someone’s quality of life.
“The public should continue reporting incidents to us. Policing is one part of the solution but where it is not a policing matter, we will work with local authorities and other agencies to effectively combat ASB and the underlying causes.”