Prime Minister Rishi Sunak hails success of Essex ASB hotspot pilot on visit to Harlow

Crime / Sun 18th Feb 2024 at 07:52pm

PRIME Minister Rishi Sunak praised the impact of hotspot patrolling in Essex on a visit to Harlow to launch the next stage of the government’s plan to combat anti-social behaviour (ASB).

Anti-social behaviour has fallen by 38.5% across the county in the last 12 months with 9,416 fewer offences recorded. All crime is down by 5.9%.

Essex is one of ten forces taking part in a pilot scheme that has seen dedicated patrols by police and community partners in known ASB hotspots thanks to funding secured by the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner.

The Home Office cited the excellent results in Essex as they announced that a £66m investment will see hotspot patrolling rolled out to all 43 police forces in England and Wales.

Hotspot patrolling, under the banner Operation Dial, has been taking place in 13 areas of the county since July 2023. 

So far, police and council community safety officers have completed more than 9,000 of patrols, made 75 arrests, issued 60 fixed penalty notices, given 151 informal warnings, and conducted 232 stop searches.

High harm crimes, such as violence and robbery, have fallen by 40.7% in the Dial zones compared to the same quarter the previous year. 

In Southend, which has two hotspot patrolling zones, ASB is down by 50.7% with 1,768 fewer offences reported in the last year.

The Prime Minister met Deputy Chief Constable Andy Prophet – the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for ASB – PFCC Roger Hirst, and Harlow MP Robert Halfon at Harlow Police Station to discuss the force’s success in combatting ASB and how further funding would be used.

The PM was then given an insight into Operation Dial by Sgt Gavin Tuck, and spoke to PC Natalie Smith and PC Jack Moore of Harlow Community Policing Team about the team’s work to reduce ASB and knife crime in the town where incidents of violence have fallen by 18.2% in the past year.

Speaking to the media, the PM said; “Last year we set out a comprehensive anti-social behaviour action plan. I’ve been here in Essex talking to the police about how it’s working, and the good news is, it is working and making a real difference.

“Through the increased use of hotspot policing, drug testing on arrest, dispersal orders, and on the spot fines, we’ve seen anti-social behaviour fall by up to 50% in the areas where we’ve trialled this plan, that’s why we’re now going to roll it out across the country.”

Deputy Chief Constable Andy Prophet said: “Tacking ASB and violence is a priority for the force and today was a great opportunity to show the Prime Minister the positive impact our work is having.

“ASB damages communities and ruins lives. Nobody should feel intimidated or harassed where they live, and we will continue to work closely with partners to drive down offending and tackle the underlying causes.

“We know people want to see police officers in their neighbourhoods. More funding will allow us to maintain a highly visible presence in the areas where it is needed most, keep communities safe and deter criminal activity.”

Roger Hirst, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, added: “It’s a great honour to welcome Prime Minister Sunak today and have him recognise the outstanding, nationally important, targeted action we have been taking to drive crime and anti-social behaviour down and create safe and secure communities in Essex.

“At the heart of our approach is local and visible policing in our communities. Hotspot patrols have proven to be a very effective example of that and we are getting crime down.

“Our communities deserve to live in safe neighbourhoods where police are not strangers but visible, responsive and working with local businesses, groups and neighbourhoods to identify and tackle crime and anti-social behaviour.”

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2 Comments for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak hails success of Essex ASB hotspot pilot on visit to Harlow:

tony edwards
2024-02-19 09:52:07

Harlow's Crime Statistics Violence without Injury: Total Number 1896. Number Solved 319. Percentage 16.8 Stalking and Harassment: 1177 140 11.9 Rape 131 5 3.8 Robbery of Personal Property 114 20 17.5 Burglary Residential 405 16 4.0 Theft of a Vehicle 471 13 2.8 Shoplifting 887 239 26.9 Standard Risk Domestic Abuse 1105 105 9.5 Possession of Weapons 152 95 62.5 Public Order 962 221 23.0

2024-02-19 19:12:06

People just stop reporting things when they know there will be no real response

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