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Chief: ‘Have a safe and fun Christmas and if you need us, we’ll be there’

Crime / Sat 23rd Dec 2023 at 07:05am

ESSEX Police chief constable Ben-Julian Harrington has urged people who are out and about celebrating Christmas this week to do so responsibly – but also pledged that officers will continue target persistent offenders throughout the festive period.

Ben-Julian Harrington said:

“We want people to have fun, we’re not the Grinch police. All that I would ask is that people do that responsibly and look after each other. 

“Look after yourself and your mates. Make sure, when you’re going out, you know how you’re getting home, whether that’s making sure you have a cab number or if the group has a designated driver. If you go out together, please go home together.”

Mr Harrington added:

“Essex is safe place – crime is reducing and violent comes is going down – and that’s really thanks to the work of police alongside those people we work with to keep the county safe such local as authorities and, especially at this time of year, businesses. 

“We will see people going out in towns and cities and of course we’ll be working with licensees to make sure they are operating responsibly, and with our support, to make sure that alcohol fuelled violence in minimised. We’ll be there to respond to that should it happen. 

“We’re tackling drug driven violence too. We’re tackling County Lines and violence associated with that, especially around our young people.

“And really importantly, we’re tackling drug supply – and the use of cocaine – which we are seeing as increasingly a factor in violent crime in Essex. 

“It’s not an epidemic by any means – Essex is a really safe county, but we are seeing cocaine, and alcohol, causing more violence. We’re tackling organised crime groups who cause that and the dealers who deal it and trying to influence those who use it.”

The chief – who will be visiting teams on Christmas Day – also urgent the public to take steps to make sure they stay safe this Christmas.

He added:

“Please, don’t drink to excess – and most importantly ask for help if you need it, in particular women and girls. If you feel unsafe, please approach police officers; you can trust us, we’ve got a really good record on that in Essex. Speak to staff, speak to door supervisors, they’re there to help you. If there’s an emergency and someone is getting us, please call us. 

“I want people to have a safe and fun Christmas.
“And what does that do for us? It gives us more time and more resources to focus on criminals who are causing significant harm; people like burglars, robbers and drug dealers. 

“We are identifying those people who are causing the most harm – sadly there are some people that we know are causing harm and consistently cause harm. 

“And we’re there, when they’re walking on the cracks on the pavement and they aren’t expecting us, we’re there to bring them into custody, we’re putting them in front of the courts and we’re locking them up. It’s not just about asking people to keep themselves safe, I want people to know that we’re doing everything we can to keep you safe.”

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