More than 250 arrests and over 600 investigations have been made across the county since town centre police teams were launched this summer.

In total, 59 Constables and 12 Sergeants have been hired to patrol 23 urban and rural Essex communities since July and August.

The aim of the teams has been to build new networks with retailers and business and crack down on anti-social behaviour.

Loughton, Waltham Abbey and Harlow are one of the many towns who have benefitted from the increased visible patrols.

A statement from Essex Police said: “In areas where we’ve seen more knife crime, the Town Centre Teams have also been working other specialist teams across the force under Operation Sceptre.

“This has included gathering information to target offenders, extra patrols and using knife arches to detect weapons.”

Here’s just some examples of what Town Centre Teams have achieved:


Businesses have reported a drop in shoplifting since the town centre team was set up and there has been a reduction in anti-social behaviour associated with people drinking alcohol on the streets.


Patrols have been carried out alongside officers from other teams to target violent crime and knife crime under the force’s Operation Sceptre work.

Saffron Walden

The team have been investigating reports of a small group of young people involved in assaults and criminal damage. Six suspects are currently on bail and enquiries are ongoing.

Waltham Abbey

The town team have been working with the community and local policing teams and Op Raptor to target those involved in drugs supply, resulting in a number of arrests.

Assistant Chief Constable Andy Prophet said: “We want everyone to enjoy their high streets and the many shops, restaurants, venues and community events they have to offer.

“If you see our Town Centre Teams out and about, please say hello and let them know of any concerns you have.

“They are now an integral part of community policing and are already having a positive impact.

“They are getting to know local residents and businesses and in doing so understanding what matters to them most.

“The essence of our town centre teams is visible community policing, working in partnership and resolving local issues so that everyone can feel safe and proud of where they live and work.

“We know people want to see more officers in their communities.

“The town centre teams are part of our ongoing commitment to be more visible, to tackle violent crime and provide better support to victims and vulnerable people.

“They have already carried out an enormous amount of work in the first few months since they launched and will continue to be a key part of our growing force.”

Denise Rossiter, chief executive of Essex Chambers of Commerce, said: “We are now entering one of the busiest periods for retailers but not always in a positive way.

“It is reassuring therefore that Essex Police have established their town teams across the county. They will be there to support both businesses and shoppers alike in coping with those in society who see the festive season as an opportunity to cause mischief for everyone else."

Town Centre Teams are currently located in Basildon, Billericay, Braintree, Brentwood, Canvey, Chelmsford, Clacton, Colchester, Grays, Harwich, Maldon, Rayleigh, Rochford, Southend, South Ockendon, South Woodham Ferrers, Stanford-le-Hope, Wickford, Witham.

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