Editorial: Ten police officers at information day but no-one free to attend when an eleven-year-old child is robbed

Crime / Sun 12th Sep 2021 at 12:51pm


HAVE a look at the picture above. There is at least ten police officers in Harlow Market Square on Friday morning.

We understand that they were there for a few hours, handing out leaflets etc.

The previous afternoon, an eleven-year-old child was robbed of his bike in Carters Mead in Harlow.

His desperately worried mother, rang 999 expecting the police would attend to a street robbery that left a child, frightened and injured.

According to the mother, an hour later, the police rang and said that they wouldn’t be attending but that it would be passed to an officer.

We put in a query to the police.

A police spokesperson said: “This must have been extremely frightening for the young boy and we will do all we can to bring those responsible to justice.

“We take all reports of crime very seriously and we attend as many emergency incidents as possible as quickly as we can.

“Sometimes we can’t always get there as quickly as we would like as we work around the clock to deal with a range of serious and critical incidents, but we do our best.

To many people, it would appear that Essex Police have the luxury of having all these officers at a PR event but no-one available to attend the robbery of an eleven-year-old child.

No doubt someone from the police may contact us regarding this and start their sentence with “You see what you have to understand is….”

We say that because we hear it a lot whether it is unbelievably low solve rates (rapes, burglaries etc), we often get told “You see, what you have to understand is…..”

We don’t have to understand anything. What we do understand is that the police part of the council tax keeps going up and residents feel they are not getting value for money.

The police in Harlow do a very good job at promoting themselves. Many Harlow residents feel they are losing or have lost the dressing room.

Others may say we are conflating two different policing duties on two different days with two different demands.

You may well be right. What we want to do here is stimulate debate. It is unhealthy to have a binary world where you have to choose a side. This is not (no pun intended) a black and white issue.

For the record, we contacted the officer, who, we understand, organised the event in the Market Square but their phone was switched off.

On Friday, we brought this matter to the attention of Harlow MP Robert Halfon.

Statement from Essex Police

A number of our officers attended an event in Harlow town centre on Friday to raise awareness of World Suicide Prevention Day.

They were speaking to the public to raise awareness of the day and reduce the stigma of talking about suicide – the biggest killer of men under the age of 40 in the UK.

The officers who attended were mainly from our Community Policing Team, whose job it is to proactively patrol our communities and engage with the public.

These are not the officers who would respond to emergency 999 calls. These officers – from our Local Policing Team – were elsewhere around the district, responding to incidents and emergencies.

There were also two officers from our Operational Support Group and two firearms officers – all of whom had their radios on and were ready to respond to calls if and when they came in.

They were also joined by Harlow District Commander, Chief Inspector Paul Austin, who was spending the day patrolling the town centre, providing visibility and reassurance to people working in and enjoying our shops and restaurants.

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4 Comments for Editorial: Ten police officers at information day but no-one free to attend when an eleven-year-old child is robbed:

Susan Eldridge
2021-09-12 21:11:20

Its awful thing to happen to a child. But has anyone realised that most of the officers attend these promotion days are actually not on duty and have attended this in their own time, as police can't do this whilst on duty and police are very short staffed, its very sad that there isn't enough policeman, but looking at the what they have to deal with, no wonder why they are short staffed , I for one wouldn't want their job

2021-09-13 04:03:36

There job is extremely dangerous and I do not envy them one bit but I feel that they have alienated the public and people such as I would be less willing, or at least think twice before supporting or assisting them whereas a few years ago I would not have hesitated in the least.

2021-09-13 09:44:39

Yet, 6 officers can turn up at a property at 3 in the morning, for an alleged crime and say we just want a chat!!!! Seriously need to get the facts straight beforehand!

2021-10-08 18:09:01

If we get police out of their cars and on the beat people will see and talk to them as well as saving the force a lot of money driving around without a care about what's going on. If they walk they can stop those selfish people on pavements on their bikes and electric scooters maybe even confiscate them, word will get round and the idiots may well behave.

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