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.
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 that the Police were aware, and the Local Community Police Officers could be involved.
· What happens when a fight breaks out regarding the wearing of face masks in public? C/Insp A Alcock advised that where a breach was made in a criminal setting, prosecution would be made.
· There appeared to be a large turn over of Local Community Police officers, could consistency be provided?; What plans were in place for the ending of the lockdown period?; Did the Police regularly patrol the Roding Valley Recreation Ground as residents felt this area was not being patrolled?; and could he comment on what the public perceived to be ‘light touch policing’ with regards to the drug use, litter and anti-social behaviour in High Beach area throughout the lockdown period. Furthermore, whether there would be a case review into the tragic incident involving Harley Watson on 2 December 2019 and whether the appropriate interventions had taken place.
C/Insp A Alcock advised that unfortunately consistency of Local Policing could not be controlled due to individuals moving to other opportunities within the organisation. In regards to the ending of Covid restrictions, an extraordinary meeting of the Community Safety Partnership had been organised, which had planned and discussed the particulars for District.
He advised that the Roding Valley Recreation Ground had been highlighted as a priority for patrols in relation to Covid associated matters and he was disappointed to hear that residents did not feel this area was being patrolled. Furthermore, he felt the policing response to the issues experienced in the High Beach area were detailed and considered, whilst being weighed up against other priorities in Essex. It was noted that on one particular day another risk in Southend presented a greater risk and required the Public Order contingency of Essex Police to attend. There had been a lot of discussions between the Corporation of London, Petitioners and the Police and the engagement between everyone had positively increased and included the gating of Manor Road and removing parked vehicles after dark in this area.
Lastly, there has been a review by the Independent Office of Police Complaints, which had deemed that the Police had done everything they could of within their area.
· What could be done about the rise in use of private security? C/Insp A Alcock advised that it was a business proposition and the Police could not influence or have an opinion on this private matter. It was a concern that residents thought they required this although residents should continue to build on their relationships with their Local Community Police Officers. There were options for Town/Parish Councils to self fund PCSO’s but that would be for area to determine.
The Chairman thanked C/Insp A Alcock for the presentation and attending the meeting.