Agenda and minutes

Stronger Communities Select Committee - Tuesday 30th March 2021 7.00 pm

Venue: Virtual Meeting on Zoom. View directions

Contact: R Perrin- 01992 564532  Email:


No. Item


Webcasting Introduction

This virtual meeting is to be webcast. Members are reminded of the need to unmute before speaking.


The Chairman will read the following announcement:


“I would like to remind everyone present that this meeting will be broadcast live to the internet (or filmed) and will be capable of repeated viewing (or another use by such third parties). Therefore by participating in this virtual meeting, you are consenting to being filmed and to the possible use of those images and sound recordings for webcasting and/or training purposes. If members of the public do not wish to have their image captured they should ensure that their video setting throughout the virtual meeting is turned off and set to audio only.


Please also be aware that if technical difficulties interrupt the meeting that cannot be overcome, I may need to adjourn the meeting.”

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The Chairman made a short address to remind all present that the virtual meeting would be broadcast on the Internet, and that the Council had adopted a protocol for the webcasting of its meetings.


Substitute Members

To report the appointment of any substitute members for the meeting.

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The Committee noted that Councillor J Jennings had been ppointed as a substitute for Councillor A Beales.


Declarations of Interest

To declare interests in any item on the agenda.

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No declarations of interest were declared pursuant to the Council’s Member Code of Conduct.


Notes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 298 KB

To agree the notes of the meeting of the Select Committee held on 14 January 2021.


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That the notes of the meeting held 14 January 2021 were agreed as a correct record.


Terms of Reference & Work Programme pdf icon PDF 197 KB

(Chairman/Lead Officer) The Overview and Scrutiny Committee have agreed the Terms of Reference and work programme for this Select Committee. Members are invited at each meeting to review both documents.


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The Committee noted the terms of reference and work programme.


Presentation from the District Commander for Epping Forest and Brentwood pdf icon PDF 1 MB

To receive a presentation from the District Commander for Epping Forest and Brentwood, Chief Inspector Ant Alcock on current policing and crime issues in the District.

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The District Commander for Epping Forest and Brentwood, Chief Inspector Ant Alcock gave a presentation on the last 12 months of policing and crime issues in the District, which has been attached to minutes.


After the presentation, the Committee asked following questions;


·         How many of the call out for Covid offences had actually led to fines or penalties? C/Insp A Alcock advised that the Police had abided by the four additional enforcements powers, although issuing fines had not been a policing priority there had been fewer that hundred across Essex. It was noted that where deliberate breeches had occurred the police had prosecuted.

·         Has social media been used to pick up Covid breaches? C/Insp A Alcock advised the police followed up where necessary.

·         What were the three categories of domestic violence; how did they escalate; and how were the victims dealt with? C/Insp A Alcock advised that the categories focussed on the risk of harm which was assessed by the attending Officers. A specialised risk assessment was used which would provide the officer with the category and this process was used nationally.

·         What schools were covered by the two Children’s and Young Persons(CYP) officers; and whether the new Disrupter Teams would affect the Local Community Teams? C/Insp A Alcock advised that there could be officers’ movement with the Teams although recruitment would then be requested for the other teams. The CYP officers covered all of the Districts secondary schools and each school had an allocated officer.

·         Would it be possible for officers to speak with residents of Blenheim Square, North Weald regarding the anti social behaviour being experienced? C/Insp A Alcock advised that the residents would need to give their consent for their details to be shared and then they could be passed onto C Wiggins to share with the Police.

·         Whether surveillance could be carried out in more rural areas in relation to drug taking?  C/Insp A Alcock advised that surveillance tended to be used for serious crime, although patrols could be engaged. He requested all crimes to be report either to the police directly or anonymously through Crimestoppers.

·         What the impacts of Covid were on the Police; whether there were any figures in relation to the vaccination role out for officers; and that the forecourt of Loughton Police Station required attention as this may affect the public perception.  C/Insp A Alcock advised that officers were beginning to get the vaccinations as part of the roll out and vulnerable individuals had been vaccinated and shielded where required. The sickness rates throughout the pandemic had been lower and this had been reported nationally.  He noted the comments about the Police station and would take the comments back.

·         What were laws surrounding the use of electric scooters? C/Insp A Alcock advised that electric scooters were not permitted by legislation although there were local authority bylaws. Enforcement was prioritised on a risk basis and if appropriate officers would stop users of electric scooters and prosecute. He asked Members to report issues, so  ...  view the full minutes text for item 37.


Community Safety Partnership Annual Report and Review of the District Strategic Assessment pdf icon PDF 226 KB

To note the Epping Forest Community Safety Partnership Annual Strategic Assessment, Annual Report and Partnership Plan.

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The Specialist Technical Services Officer, Caroline Wiggins presented the annual Strategic Assessment which included the Epping Forest Community Safety Partnership (CSP)  Annual Strategic Assessment, Annual Report and Partnership Plan.  This was used to direct and guide activities, under the requirements as responsible authorities, of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998.


The strategic assessment included;


·         an analysis of the levels and patterns of crime and disorder and substance misuse in the area;

·         an analysis of the changes in those levels and patterns since the previous strategic assessment;

·         an analysis of why those changes had occurred;

·         the matters which the responsible authorities should prioritise when each were exercising their functions to reduce crime and disorder and to combat substance misuse in their area;

·         the matters which the persons living and working in the area consider the responsible authorities should prioritise when each were exercising their functions to reduce crime and disorder and to combat substance misuse in the area; and

·         an assessment of the extent to which the partnership plan for the previous year has been implemented.

The Epping Forest District worked closely with Essex Police analysts to produce the documents and the timescales had been extended within the Report to consider the unprecedented impact of Covid on the CSP and wider agencies over the last year. The CSP Plan was a new addition of the Partnership and provided information at a glance on the planned delivery of Epping Forest CSP going forward.


The Committee asked the following questions;


·         Was there a contact number that could be given to homeless people?; and did the Council work with other bordering authorities in addition to the Metropolitan Police?  C Wiggins advised that any homeless person should firstly, be directed to the Council’s Homeless Prevention Team. The New Horizons project mentioned in the report was for more entrenched homelessness and assisted people with a holistic approach. The project was now being extended to other areas such as Harlow, Brentwood and Tendering as a result of the success in Epping and Chelmsford.

C Wiggins advised that the Council did work with other bordering Police authorities and had a good working relationship with Herts.


·         Could the Epping Forest Community Safety Partnership (CSP) Plan on a Page include additional details of the planned schemes for the three priorities; and what was a Local Action Group (LAG)? C Wiggins advised that a glossary would be included in next years CSP Plan with a further explanation of each scheme. The LAG were the bringing together of Council officers and multi-agencies to create an overall approach to case specific anti-social behaviour issues/locations within the District. 


The Housing & Community Services Portfolio Holder, Councillor H Whitbread thanked the team for all their hard work over the difficult year.




1.         That the Community Safety Partnership Annual Strategic Assessment and Annual Report be noted; and


2.         That going forward the Epping Forest community Safety Partnership Plan on a Page 2020/21 includes a glossary and additional detail on the schemes. 




Six-Month Report on the work of the Council funded Police Officers pdf icon PDF 151 KB

To consider the attached report on the work of the Council-funded Police Officers over the last six months.

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The Specialist Technical Assessment, Caroline Wiggins gave a 6 monthly update on the work and range of operations of the Council’s funded Police team.


The Council continued to fund the employment of an additional Police Sergeant and 2 Police Constables to supplement existing local policing resources. The team were incepted in July 2018 with an initial 3-year contract, which had now been extended for a further two years.  The team were tasked in-line with District Community Safety Partnership (CSP) priorities which were identified through the Annual Strategic Assessment and aligned with the priorities set by the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner’s (PFCC).Also the team could be requested via a tasking process, to support any Council departments where there was an identified threat, harm or risk to staff. A service level agreement was in place to prevent abstraction of the officers except in extreme cases or high priority incidents.


The team accepted and completed 50 tasking requests in 2020 in spite of the challenges presented by COVID-19 which included:


§  In response to an increase in serious acquisitive crime in the south of the District, the team lead on a cross border operation with the Metropolitan Police, sharing resources and tactical assets to target key routes in and out of the District. The operation resulted in 4 arrests, 4 pursuits, 10 stop searches, 25 successful ANPR activation responses (i.e. where there was a ‘live’ marker and the vehicle was stopped);

§  Supporting council officers with joint visits at licenced and business premises highlighted to be committing COVID legislation breaches;

§  Support Planning Enforcement with the initial site visit and subsequent service of injunction at a location where there was threat, harm and risk to staff;

§  Site visit with Planning Enforcement and Community Resilience at a venue where the occupant presents risk to staff;

§  Site visits and representation at professionals meeting in relation to high-risk homeless person;

§  Targeted patrols at three separate locations in the District which were at risk of persistent ASB and current problems for both police and council;

§  Proactive arrest of youth riding a stolen moped and in possession of a large knife in Loughton. Subsequently passed to the Youth Offending Team for a disposal decision;

§  Following an increase in acquisitive crime in Waltham Abbey, the team deployed to a recent catalytic converter theft. Whilst on route a second unrelated car failed to stop, and the driver was arrested. Enquiries showed the car had been recently stolen from the town;

§  Whilst on patrol in the Roydon area the team saw a van that was known to be cloned. The offenders tried to make off but were detained. The driver was a prolific offender who was wanted on a recall to prison. The van and driver were linked to multiple thefts in the District. The driver was sentenced to 42 weeks imprisonment;

§  The last 3 months had seen the team recover 11 stolen vehicles to the value of approximately £900k. This was as  ...  view the full minutes text for item 39.



To note that the next meeting of the Select Committee will be held virtually at 7.00pm on 22 April 2021.

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The Committee noted that the date of the next meeting would be held on 22 April 2021.