I’m pleased to say that the new investment in local policing - which I was proud to support last year and which was spearheaded by Essex Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Roger Hirst - is now bearing fruit as Town Centre Policing teams are being boosted throughout Essex.
The Brentwood and Epping Policing Team, which includes Ongar, has 31 new officers of which two constables and a sergeant have been deployed by Essex Police Chief Constable BJ Harrington to focus on the most prominent issues in local communities and in this constituency’s town centres.
Their focus will be on community concerns, including drug dealing and antisocial behaviour, and will continue the work which has already started on Brentwood High Street to support businesses experiencing issues with the night time economy and bars and clubs will be supported in the reduction of crime and antisocial behaviour.
I’ve recently met with some West Essex farmers to discuss rural crime, and last week I convened a meeting with residents and councillors from Navestock, who are increasingly concerned about unauthorised development on land within in the parish. I’ve raised the issues with Roger Hirst, and have been assured he is aware the rural communities face unique challenges. As a result, Essex’s Police’s Gypsy Traveller and Rural Engagement Team (GTRET) will also be growing from September with 4 new police constables and a sergeant, followed by additional officers in early 2020. These officers will work with councils and local communities to tackle issues such as unauthorised traveller encampments, hare coursing and flytipping.
By the time you read this, the Conservatives will have a new leader, and the UK a new Prime Minister. It’s a time of change, and I’ll be sharing my thoughts on the way forward with you in this column next week.