Essex's Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner is investing an extra £1.1 million in high-visibility patrols and targeted intervention to tackle anti-social behaviour (ASB) in eleven hotspots across the county.
Around 30,000 hours of officer and partner patrols will be undertaken over nine months across the areas, including coordinated focused nights of action to target persistent behaviour.
The funding is provided from 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.
ASB has fallen in Essex by over 60% since 2016 but there were still 18,771 ASB offences recorded in the year to the end of May 2023.
Anti-social behaviour is unacceptable
Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, Roger Hirst, said:
“It is unacceptable that people have to suffer from anti-social behaviour in their communities. By tackling these issues early, we can stamp out this behaviour and make it very clear this is not acceptable and that there will be consequences. “By working together with councils, partners and communities we have been able to identify and target offenders, reduce the risk of incidents by improving the physical layout of spaces and work with schools and community groups to provide alternative activities for young people. “The investment today and our coordinated approach will help drive down ASB even further.”
The eleven hotspots have been identified using the last five years of recorded anti-social behaviour incidents, feedback from the public and from partners in Community Safety Partnerships.
Each area is tightly defined and will benefit from extra police visibility patrols, council and partner patrols and robust enforcement of anti-social behaviour as well as engagement with local businesses and communities.
The teams will be able to tackle issues such as littering, graffiti, fly-tipping, street drinking, and noise nuisance by issuing fixed penalty notices as well as verbal and written warnings.
Anti-social behaviour ruins lives and damages communities
Deputy Chief Constable Andy Prophet, who is the NPCC lead for anti-social behaviour, said:
“Anti-social behaviour ruins lives and damages communities. ASB is not a ‘low-level’ offence and it should not be tolerated. Everyone has the right to live free from intimidation and harassment. “The significant reduction in ASB offences across Essex shows the work we are doing, alongside our partners, is having an impact. “This additional investment is fantastic and will allow us to do even more work where the need is greatest – our hotspot areas. “I ask the public to continue to report incidents of ASB. If we don’t know about it, we can’t work to tackle it. Policing is one part of the solution so we will continue to work with local authorities and other agencies to combat both ASB and the underlying causes.”
Providing safer communities
Phillipa Brent-Isherwood, Chair of Safer Essex, the Countywide Community Safety Strategy Group, said:
“ASB is a blight on our communities, and is one of the crime types that has the most impact on victims. “By working together through Community Safety Partnerships we can use our local knowledge and experience to tackle offenders, reduce the incidents of ASB and give everybody safer communities.”
The extra patrols will provide a strong proactive problem-solving approach and will be supported by stronger communications and public engagement.
The eleven areas are spread across nine districts:
Clacton (Percy King Estate area)
Colchester (Cowdray Avenue)
Chelmsford (Moulsham Street)
Brentwood (Railway Square)
Harlow (Stow Shopping Centre)
Epping Forest (Debden)
Thurrock (Lakeside including Chafford Hundred Station)
Basildon (Elm Green)
Southend (Maple Square)
Southend (Southchurch Road)
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