Hotspot patrols lead to 30 arrests in two months

Crime / Wed 12th Jun 2024 at 08:16am

INTENSIVE patrols of 15 hotspots across the county have led to 30 arrests and 63 people being stopped and searched in the past two months.

Operation Grip sees uniformed officers on short, sharp patrols in areas data analysis shows have a higher probability of a serious violent incident.

Four of the hotspots are in Southend, with three in Basildon, two in Colchester, and one in each of Chelmsford, Harlow, Clacton, Braintree, Grays and Brentwood.

As well as acting as a deterrent, the officers are there to engage with the community and identify areas where improvements could be made to reduce the possibility of crime and make people feel safer.

In the past year, incidents of violence in Essex are down by 11%, and knife-enabled crime is down by 5.1%.

Operation Grip is funded by the Home Office and has led to the purchase of a state-of-the-art OpenGate weapons detection system that has been used all over the county.

The OpenGate has proved effective as a way of engaging with the public and led directly to arrests.

Two weekends ago in Harlow, two men were spotted abruptly changing direction when seeing the OpenGate. The first attempted to run and was caught, the second engaged with officers and was searched. Both were carrying knives and were arrested for possession of offensive weapons.

Officers on Grip patrols have also arrested suspects for possession of drugs with intent to supply, assault, robbery, burglary, and sexual assault.

The team have also recently launched a Safe Space in Clacton, which will be in place at weekends throughout the height of the summer. The Safe Space – a zone in a prominent place with a highly visible police presence where people can come if they need help – has already been run successfully in Southend, Colchester, Basildon, and Grays.

During its first outing in Clacton on the recent bank holiday weekend, officers spoke to more than 500 people.

Detective Chief Inspector Neal Miller of the Serious Violence Unit said Grip patrols are catching offenders and reassuring the public:

“We are continuing to target the areas where we know there is increased chance of violent crime. By having a highly visible police presence, we are showing the public we are there to protect them and sending a clear message to anyone intent on causing harm.

“As well as preventing incidents, we are pursuing offenders by sending in officers from our Operational Support Group and using the OpenGate, which is helping us to identify and arrest those who are carrying weapons.

“By talking to the public, building relationships at a local level and working with the community safety partnerships, we are also identifying issues and making improvements in areas people have told us they feel unsafe by deploying the Safe Space or upgrading CCTV and lighting.”

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1 Comment for Hotspot patrols lead to 30 arrests in two months:

2024-06-12 10:30:41

Ha Ha, they heard about some dodgy characters in Clacton. What's your name?"Farage"

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