Antisocial behaviour has reduced after police patrols around Epping Forest.

Dedicated patrols on Debden Broadway have led to a significant decrease in anti-social behaviour.

The Broadway is among 13 targeted areas across the county that shared a £1.1m investment from Essex’s Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner under the remit of Operation Dial.

The invested amount has seen antisocial behaviour reduced by 30.1 per cent in the Epping Forest district alone in the year to the end of January 2024.

Throughout Essex, Operations Dial has curtailed antisocial behaviour with a 38.5 per cent drop, with 9,416 fewer offences committed.

For the Debden Broadway locality, the results are even more impressive, with police officers and community safety colleagues from Epping Forest District Council expected to complete 2,000 hours of patrols in the span of nine months ending in March.

Concerns about drug dealing activities and intimidating youth groups were previously reported, but Debden Broadway has seen a marked reduction in such incidences and police action.

To date, four arrests, 19 stop searches and 11 informal warnings have been issued.

Operation Dial is not just about patrols but also encompasses community engagement and outreach initiatives.

Regular events at New City College are aimed at young students, providing them confidence to identify and report inappropriate behaviour.

Sergeant Rob Fitt of the Epping Community Safety Team said: "We know how much damage antisocial behaviour can do to a community, and if ASB is not dealt with, it can lead to other forms of offending.

"Nobody should feel intimidated or harassed when they're at home or shopping on the Broadway.

"The high-visibility patrols by our officers and our partners from the council are deterring potential offenders and providing a reassuring presence for local people.

"We know people like to see officers out on patrol and the feedback has been very positive.

"We are here to listen to people and take action when they report suspicious or illegal activity."

Residents are encouraged to report anti-social behaviour either online or through direct phone calls.