Colchester ASB Hotspots to get an extra 3,700 hours of high-visibility patrols
Two ASB Hotspots in Colchester are among eleven in Essex to get extra visibility patrols and a share of £1.1 M of central government funding following a new ASB pilot project being undertaken by the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, Essex Police, and Colchester City Council.
Areas around Greenstead and Cowdray Avenue will benefit from 3,700 hours of visible patrols by Police Officers and Colchester City Council Enforcement Officers over nine months, including coordinated focused nights of action to target persistent behaviour.
The funding is provided from central government as part of their Anti-Social Behaviour Strategy and is designed to deliver high visibility patrols, public engagement, targeted youth outreach and early intervention.
ASB has fallen in Essex by over 60% since 2016 but there were still 18,771 ASB offences recorded in the year to the end of May 2023. In Colchester ASB has fallen by 33.7% over the last 12 months from 2843 offences to 1885.
Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, Roger Hirst, said: “It is unacceptable that people have to suffer from anti-social behaviour. Tackling these issues early, we can stamp out this behaviour and make it very clear that it is not acceptable and that there will be consequences.
“By working together with Colchester City Council, partners, and communities across Colchester we have been able to drive down the volume of anti-social behaviour in the city by identifying and targeting offenders. Together we can reduce the risk of incidents by improving the physical layout of spaces and work with schools and community groups to provide alternative activities for young people.
“The investment today and our coordinated approach will help get ASB down even further.”
The hotspots have been identified using the last five years of recorded anti-social behaviour incidents, feedback from the public, and from One Colchester Community Safety Partnership.
Each area is tightly defined and will benefit from extra police visibility patrols, council and partner patrols and robust enforcement of anti-social behaviour as well as engagement with local businesses and communities.
The teams will be able to tackle issues such as littering, graffiti, fly-tipping, street drinking, and noise nuisance by issuing fixed penalty notices as well as verbal and written warnings.
Councillor Natalie Sommers, Colchester City Council Portfolio Holder for Communities, said: “We are very pleased that Greenstead and Cowdray Avenue have been selected as two of the eleven hotspots to benefit from this new pilot project. Anti-social behaviour can have a devastating impact on communities, and we are committed to working with our partners to tackle it head-on.
“These extra patrols will provide a strong proactive problem-solving approach, and I am confident that they will make a real difference to the lives of residents in these areas. I would encourage anyone who witnesses anti-social behaviour to report it to the police so that we can take action.
“I want to thank the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner and Essex Police for their commitment to tackling anti-social behaviour in our city. Together, we can make Colchester a safer place for everyone.”
Essex Police’s Deputy Chief Constable Andy Prophet, who is the NPCC lead for anti-social behaviour, said: “Anti-social behaviour ruins lives and damages communities. ASB is not a ‘low-level’ offence and it should not be tolerated. Everyone has the right to live free from intimidation and harassment. The significant reduction in ASB offences across Essex shows the work we are doing, alongside our partners, is having an impact.
“This additional investment is fantastic and will allow us to do even more work where the need is greatest – our hotspot areas. I ask the public to continue to report incidents of ASB. If we don’t know about it, we can’t work to tackle it. Policing is one part of the solution so we will continue to work with local authorities and other agencies to combat both ASB and the underlying causes.”
The extra patrols will provide a strong, proactive, problem-solving approach and will be supported by stronger communications and public engagement.
The eleven areas are spread across nine Essex districts:
Clacton Percy (King Estate Area) Te02
Colchester (Cowdray Avenue) Col01
Colchester (Greenstead) Col03
Chelmsford (Moulsham Street) Chel01
Brentwood (Railway Square) Brent01
Harlow (Stow Shopping Centre) Har01
Epping Forest (Debden)Epp01
Thurrock (Lakeside including Chafford Hundred Station) Thu01
Basildon (Elm Green) Bas02
Southend (Maple Square) SS01
Southend (Southchurch Road) SS02