The Interim District Commander
for Epping Forest and Brentwood, Chief Inspector Paul Ballard
advised that he had been seconded to this position for
approximately 5/6 months, in place of Chief Inspector Ant
Alcock who had been seconded to the
Major Investigation Team.
The Chief Inspector advised
that over the last 12 months performance had been good, although
the data had still been impacted by Covid. It was noted that
reports of Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) had reduced by 51% and this
was probably due to how covid breaches were being reported as ASB.
There had been a 4% increase of all crimes, which had been
attributed to covid and how crimes had been recorded. However,
within Epping Forest, robbery had reduced by 11%, personal robbery
was down by 14% and residential robbery down by 24%. Unfortunately,
there had been an increase of 17% in violence against person
offences and a 13% increase in violence with injury but there was
on going work in this area. In additions to these figures further
work was being carried out to improve public engagement in the
The Committee asked the
- Had domestic violence
been included in the violence against persons offences figures and
was there any data available on domestic violence figures in the
district? The C/Insp advised that the common assaults figures would
include domestic violence and within the district there had been a
6% increase in offences reported to the police.
- What engagement was
occurring between the police and residents and how it could be
improved? The C/Insp advised that engagement throughout the covid
period had been very challenging, although improvements were
required on a face-to-face basis which would include pre-pandemic
events such as coffee with cops; forums; community events; and
- Could the rural crime
figures for the district be provided? The C/Insp advised that he
would need to consult his Rural Engagement Team based in
Chelmsford, although there was a Rural Specialist PC Officer, Andy
Cooke for the District, as well as the neighbourhood beat
- Did the police have
plans in conjunction with TFL to monitor large groups of people
entering the district via the underground stations? The C/Insp
acknowledged that the underground stations were a focal point and
had been affected by seasonal changes. There were several events in
and around the district and plans were being put in place to
monitor these events. Furthermore, there was also great partnership
working between the Council, CSP and TFL and if the large groups
involving young people were to become an issue, the Police would
look for alternative methods to disperses people gathering, if
- How many of the 200
newly recruited police officers would be placed in the district?
The C/Insp advised that formal recruitment was dealt with by a
central office, although the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner
(PFCC) had committed to continue the uplift in community policing
in town centres.
- Did the recruitment
process in Essex differ from the MET? The C/Insp advised that he
did not know what the recruitment process for the MET was like,
although the Essex recruitment process involved several assessments
prior to the vetting stage which was then followed by a robust and
lengthy training period. This was reviewed and amended in
accordance with national guidelines.
- Would the police be
carrying out any speed checks within the district? The C/Insp
advised that speed checks were being carried out in the district.
Centrally, work was on going with the road safety support team, in
and around Fyfield and Waltham Abbey. It was noted that residents
could advise the police of areas within the district that had road
safety issues and the community speed watch groups worked extremely
- Did the police work
in conjunction with the highways authority to implement road
cameras? The C/Insp advised that when several collisions occurred
at a certain location, the highways authority would liaison with
the police to collate the data to support recommendations for that
- How could the police
assist with safety on rural roads? The C/Insp advised that the
police were there to enforce the law and not to design, direct,
change or implement traffic calming measures or speed restrictions
as this would be in the remit of the highway’s
- Could the police
monitor the rural roads for vehicles fly tipping? The C/Insp
advised that the law would be changing with regards to the
enforcement of flying tipping. At present, it was the
responsibility of the Council.
- Do the police inform
Essex Highways of fatalities? The C/Insp advised that he did not
inform the relevant highways authority although this was not to say
that it did not happen through either the Safer Roads Bureau, Roads
Policing Team, or support staff.
- What support did the
Community Speed Watch training officer get and were the statics
available for the road accidents? The C/Insp advised that support
would be given to the relevant officer to train Community Speed
Watch volunteers. He would confirm where the data could be found
and get back to the Committee.
- Did the police have
the capacity to engage with schools? The C/Insp advised that there
were 2 Young Persons Officers who worked with the secondary schools
within the district.
- Do PCSO have the
authority to issue penalty charge notices for parking on pavements?
The C/Insp advised that the Chief Constables delegated powers of
authority to their PCSO, and he would have to check what powers had
- Do officers have the
capacity to attend residents’ properties to assess and make
recommendations on how to secure their properties? The C/Insp
advised that unfortunately they did not have the capacity for this.
Although, where required, residents would be referred onto Crime
and Prevention Advisors.
- Where there any
initiatives to cut organised car crime in the district? The C/Insp
advised that there were several initiatives involving cross-border
collaboration, darker night patrols, special vehicle recovery unit
and intelligence led investigations.
The Customer & Partnerships
Services Portfolio Holder advised that the Safer Essex Road
Partnership looked at problematic hot spot for traffic collisions
and recorded data on personal injury or death related accidents.
Regarding pavement parking, he advised that outside Greater London,
parking on pavement was not illegal and enforcement could only be
for obstruction. There were ongoing discussion at Government level
regarding this issue and if delegated, the Council would look to
NEPP to enforce.
Could an update be given on successful initiatives that had
prevented crime in the district? The C/Insp advised that there were
no current updates, although operations may be occurring.
The pandemic had changed the way many people worked, which had been
reflected in local towns and high streets becoming busier. Had this
effected crime? The C/Insp advised that there had been changes in
crime trends although there had been nothing specific in relation
to town centres. Furthermore, the Council funded Police officers
were currently working on reports of pick-pockets gangs working in
Epping, High Street on market day.
* C/Insp Ballard
gave the following responses after the meeting.
Was the District specific RTC
data periodically published and accessible?
This was available on the Safer Essex Roads website
– district casualty data -
Do any of your teams offer
specific additional support for speeding, road safety operations
Chigwell would take over the management of OP
CALYPSO funding from April 1st which would allow for a
far greater focus on local road safety issues including speed
enforcement. The team was also using a new Laser Cam 4 device which
allowed enforcement at night. We would also be recruiting 3
additional police staff members during the summer to also enforce
speed. At present a member of my team was reviewing our speed
enforcement strategy to reflect what changes were needed to make in
line with Vision Zero. On the Twitter account, there was
significant speed enforcement around EFDC.
It was suggested that there may
be scope for a joint police & council enforcement operation in
relation to illegal waste carriers and similar offending to assist
in tackling the issue of fly tipping in rural areas. Was this
something that your teams might be interested in?
We regularly carry out OP NASH days of action in
Loughton / Waltham Abbey. These were days planned and set by the
Partnership. Samantha Wright was our planner and link and would be
very happy to support and enhance those days.