Harlow Councillor leader meets Essex Police to call for policing in Harlow Town centre

Crime / Wed 8th Aug 2018 am31 08:58am

THE Leader of Harlow Council, Mark Ingall, met with the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, Roger Hirst, on Monday, to discuss concerns being raised by residents and business owners about suspected criminal activity in Harlow Town Centre. Councillor Ingall expressed concerns that in 2013 the number of police personnel dedicated to the town centre had been significantly reduced, and since those cuts, reported crime had increased by 28%.

Cllr Ingall said, “This was a very useful meeting. The Commissioner agreed that more needed to be done to prevent parts of the Town Centre from gaining a reputation as being a no-go zone. While Commissioner Hirst was able to detail a number of recent initiatives that have been implemented, it is clear that more still needs to be done. I was told that an extra PC and an extra PCSO have been put in place, but if we are to properly reassure shoppers and residents, a highly visible police presence is needed to disrupt criminal elements that have been allowed too much freedom to carry on their activities. I also told him that some shopkeepers had said they had stopped reporting crime because they felt the police did not have the resources needed to respond properly.”

“The Commissioner told me that he recently held a review of Police numbers, which recommended that around 300 more officers were needed across Essex, and that steps had been taken to recruit 150 this year, with most being operational by January 2019, and a further 150 to be operational by January 2020. Whilst I welcome this increase in the number of officers, I questioned whether this will address the problems created by the cuts of 640 front line police across Essex since 2010. I also asked how many of those new officers would be stationed in Harlow, and what can be done to deal with the problem that exists right now. I am pleased that at the end of our meeting Commissioner Hirst agreed to discuss with Senior Police Officers what could be done to redeploy existing resources to the Town Centre with immediate effect. He also urged all shoppers and shopkeepers to report any criminal activity they see.”

Labour Councillor Chris Vince, Harlow’s representative on the Essex Police and Crime Panel, welcomed Cllr Ingall’s meeting saying “it is great that the new leader of Harlow Council is being so proactive in addressing such a serious issue. Having been out collecting signatures, with Cllr Edwards, for a petition calling for a greater police presence in the town centre, I know that the strength of feeling amongst Harlow residents is high, and I only hope that Commissioner Hirst listens to our concerns and ensures that Harlow gets its fair share of additional officers.”

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16 Comments for Harlow Councillor leader meets Essex Police to call for policing in Harlow Town centre:

2018-08-08 10:37:42

For heavens sake. The police station is a few hundred yards away. It's obvious that some strategically place CCTV, will obviate the the need for a single PC or PCSO,an alarmed system would do the job perfectly. If the officers are on foot, how fast can they get around the whole of the area ? So, the nuisance ferals will just move away to another part of the town centre.

m ingall
2018-08-08 11:07:03

You're missing the point Mickey. CCTV is a very useful tool, but it relies on there being somebody monitoring it and responding to it. Far too often there have been so few police in Harlow that this hasn't happened. And CCTV doesn't reassure the public like the occasional sight of a uniformed officer does. We need more police officers.

2018-08-08 11:20:24

Having worked on getting signatures for the petition, I know that this is a hot topic among the people of Harlow, and rightly so. This is another positive example of the Labour Party raising important issues that affect the town. Don't see many others do this. And Cllr Ingall is right to suggest that the sight of a uniformed police officer is more of a deterrent than a CCTV camera. A camera can't arrest you. A camera can't restrain you. A camera, ultimately, can't reassure you.

2018-08-08 12:15:15

As I said in a previous and similar article. I am 100% in favour of reducing crime and anti social behaviour in Harlow and around the town centre but I find this a bit rich coming from the leader of the Harlow Labour administrating party. I have had more verbal abuse thrown at me by left wing supporters and activists including those who have links to the Labour and momentum parties, unlike those that have links to the right parties such the main opposition Tory party. So if the leader of this Harlow Labour administrating party is that dedicated to reducing crime in Harlow and the town centre then he should be keeping his own party followers under control.

2018-08-08 12:52:27

I think most residents of Harlow and Essex would welcome more uniformed officers on our streets. However PCSO's may well contribute and our policing but shouldn't be replacing proper trained and paid police men and women. MR Install, I therefore ask about the current ratio of PC's to PCSO's and the same ratio out of the 300 being recruited? I look forward to being furnished with this information.

2018-08-08 14:03:29

My apologies for the predictive text change from Ingall to Install.

Brett Hawksbee
2018-08-08 14:33:12

D.p.l I'm not sure but I don't think horrid lefty people calling you names counts as a crime. I'm definitely sure however, this such would NOT be the concern of anyone signing the petition, or lobbying for more police presence. This is actually serious ... which you might interpret, for future reference, as 'should be raised above the level of asinine attempts at point scoring'.

2018-08-08 16:25:01

I would like to see a list of these left wing people apparently calling DPL names. If you know what party they're from, and if they're from Momentum, it shouldn't be hard to write up.

2018-08-08 16:51:58

It's a shame when some people think verbal abuse is not anti-social behaviour. and thus a crime. Shows a total lack of experience of having to deal with such cases, which can lead to mental health issues and addiction problems for those experiencing such abuse.

2018-08-08 16:52:38

Amazing isn't it, the lefties are dead against CCTV, yet, all throughout the West End of London's shopping areas, it is one of the most effective means of policing and monitoring. As for missing the point, typical because I happen to dis-agree. I've said before, the police are always asking for assistance by cam-corders and CCTV to identify guilt or suspects. PCs would be great,but at what cost ? I know several police officers who wouldn't be seen in Harlow at any price. It isn't a very popular town.

2018-08-08 17:34:33

I actually find myself agreeing with many of the posts on this topic. The biggest issue actually is priorities. CCTV is a great tool, and can be monitored by volunteers and non uniform staff, freeing up uniforms to get out on the beat and actually doing the community policing residents want more than anything else. Verbal assaults can be anti-social behavior - it depends what is said! However I would like to see the paperwork and red tape burden cut, the PPC and department cut, the expensive new Chelmsford building stopped and community police stations reopened!

2018-08-08 17:37:10

The other issue is of course staff retention! We do tend to lose a lot of trained officers to the Met, as they can earn a lot more through London weighting. Something needs to be done to tackle that too!

2018-08-08 20:57:39

As I posted earlier I would like to be furnished with the ratios.

2018-08-09 05:42:27

I'll go with your comment about posh new offices, do they really need them UK M. What about the very very expensive, purpose built police complex at Great Dunmow ? Nature reserve for White Elephants ?

m ingall
2018-08-09 08:05:49

Logic4U The Commissioner said the new recruits, 300 by January 2020, were Police Officers, the question is is that sufficient to replace the 640 Police Officers lost since 2010? The ratio of Police Officers to PCSOs in the current Essex Police Force and proposed changes is a figure the Commissioner's office would need to provide you. If you follow this link http://www.essex.pfcc.police.uk/contact-us/ there is a question form you can fill in. I think we would all be interested to know the answer.

2018-08-21 07:43:31

Clacton council have just released a statement that the number of criminals arrested, thanks to CCTV, and the police, has had a hand in a massive decrease in the number of crimes committed in the area.

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