Chief Constable meets with Home Secretary as crime continues to fall across Essex
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Essex Police Chief Constable Ben-Julian Harrington has met with Home Secretary James Cleverly to discuss how the force is continuing to drive down crime across the county, despite the increased demand on policing.
They were joined by Essex Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Roger Hirst who has continually backed the work being done by officers across our county.
All three met this morning, Monday 15 January. A private meeting was held in Southend police station before the Home Secretary was taken on a short patrol in Warrior Square alongside two officers from the Southend Town Centre Team, Sgt James Mint and PC Amelia Thorne.
Crime continues to fall in Essex
In the 12 months to December 2023, there were 9,470 fewer crimes committed across Essex than in the previous 12 months – a reduction of almost 6%.
Antisocial behaviour reports have also fallen significantly in Essex, with more than 9,000 fewer reports – a reduction of 37.6%.
In Southend specifically, Mr Cleverley was also told about how officers’ work has led to a drop in antisocial behaviour of more than 49% in the last 12 months, with 1,705 fewer incidents. All crime is also down across the district by 9.2% - a reduction of 1,920 incidents.
Knife crime is also being tackled using scientific data and other innovation, which has resulted in knife enabled crime across the county being reduced by 11.2% in the last 12 months, with 190 fewer offences. And in Southend, offences are down by 21.6% in the same timeframe, with 174 fewer serious incidents involving a knife.
In our latest independent survey of people in Essex, 77% of the public believe Essex Police is doing a good or excellent job.
We don't take the public's support for granted
Mr Harrington said:
“The support from the Essex public for our officers is consistent and we never take that for granted. It is only because of that support that we’re able to deliver results for them. “The demands made upon policing is high. We’ve made great strides locally with our partners in making sure the people who need help are getting it from the right people. Sometimes that is not always us that are the right people to attend, but where it is right for the police to respond, because it is the police that are needed we will be there. “As a result of that work, our resources are being increasingly better used to both stop crime and solve crime. There is more to do on that, we know that and we’re continually pushing for improvement. “I have never shied away from speaking up for Essex officers and of course part of the conversation with the Home Secretary today was to highlight the extraordinary work being done in this force – at all hours of the day, at all times of the year, often in the face of aggression. “I was also really happy that the Home Secretary got to see officers face-to-face and chat to them first hand on their roles, the challenges of it, but also the best parts of it; how they help people day in, day out and catch people who have done bad things in their community. “The Southend Town Centre Team and our community policing officer are integral to how we continue to tackle crime and antisocial behaviour in the city.”
We will continue 2024 as we finished 2023
The Chief Constable added:
“To all our residents across the county, I pledge that we will continue 2024 as we finished 2023, by tackling those who are causing the highest harm in our communities, by continuing to drive down antisocial behaviour, by determinedly working to make our roads safer and by innovatively tackling tackle knife and the issues behind it.”
Driving down crime
Essex Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Roger Hirst added:
“Crime is going down across Essex following our investment in 905 extra officers, making Essex Police the biggest it has been in its 184-year history. “It was great to welcome the Home Secretary to Southend to meet our local officers and see the excellent work they are doing which is bringing crime down across the county and is being particularly successful in reducing crime in our largest city.”