Epping Forest: CPT launch new series of engagement events
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Epping Forest Community Policing Team (CPT) have kicked off the year with the first of their 2024 multi-agency public engagement events.
The team were at St Mary’s Church in Loughton with colleagues from Essex County Fire and Rescue, the Safer Essex Roads Partnership, Essex Watch, and Epping Forest District Council’s community safety team.
The church is a popular meeting point on the High Road with a busy café, and a baby and toddler club running alongside religious services.
PC Charlotte O’Brien of Loughton Town Team organised the event and said the feedback from the public was very positive.
“It’s really important for us to be visible and talk to the local community. The public have said they love seeing us and it gives them the opportunity to raise concerns or ask questions of us or any of the other emergency services.
“We want the public to know we are here to help them and by building these relationships we are breaking down barriers.
“Local shop owners have come over to say hello and we’ve had everyone from nursery children trying on uniform and sitting in the cars, through to retired people who wanted advice about home safety and scams.”
In the coming year, the team are planning quarterly engagement events in Loughton, at New City College in Debden and in Epping.
Last September’s event at New City College was very well received with CPT officers hoping to build students’ confidence at reporting offences and recognising inappropriate behaviour.
PC O’Brien added that along with increasing public engagement, the team will continue to focus on combatting anti-social behaviour and robbery.
Crime was down by 5% across Epping Forest District in 2023 and anti-social behaviour fell by 31.2% with 461 fewer offences recorded.
PC O’Brien said: “We have an Operation Dial zone in Debden Broadway where we’re doing dedicated patrols to combat anti-social behaviour as there have been issues there.
“We are also continuing with high-visibility and plain clothes patrols around Debden and Loughton underground stations as we look deter anyone intent on committing robbery. Even if you can’t see us, it doesn’t mean we’re not there.”
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