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Investment to create safer streets and secure communities in Epping Forest viewed by PFCC and Council Leaders

Posted 9th February 2024

Roger Hirst, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, this morning joined Cllr Chris Whitbread, Leader of Epping Forest District Council, to view investments and action taken to improve community safety in the district.

In Epping Forest district The Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner has invested £338,000 of Safer Streets funding in the Ninefields area of Waltham Abbey, supporting targeted community projects to tackle neighbourhood crime as well as reducing violence against women and girls. This project was supported by £169,000 of match funding from community partners including Epping Forest District Council.

A further £103,523 of ASB Hotspot funding has also been invested in Epping Forest district in The Broadway, Debden which has seen 592 extra hours of high-visibility Essex Police patrols, 555 hours of extra Community Safety patrols and further outreach support.

This has resulted in year-on-year figures which show anti-social behaviour in Epping Forest district has decreased by 31.2% and across Essex anti-social behaviour is down 37.6%.

Mr Hirst and Cllr Whitbread were also joined by Cllr Smruti Patel, Chair of the Epping Forest Community Safety Partnership, Cllr Louise McKinlay, Deputy Leader of Essex County Council, Cllr Holly Whitbread, Epping Forest Housing and Strategic Health Partnerships Portfolio Holder, Cllr Ken Williamson and officers from Essex Police and Epping Forest District Council.

Roger Hirst, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, said: “Our communities deserve to live in safe neighbourhoods where police are not strangers but visible, responsive and working with local businesses, groups and neighbourhoods.”

“Safer Streets and ASB hotspot funding allows us to work together with councils, partners and communities to identify and target offenders, 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 figures show this approach is working.”

Cllr Chris Whitbread, Leader of Epping Forest District Council, said: “The funding received through the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner has helped to create a safer and more peaceful community for residents and businesses.

“Operation Dial and the additional patrols demonstrate a joint effort between Essex Police and Epping Forest District Council to address anti-social behaviour in Debden. The efforts of the residents in reporting such incidents are deeply appreciated.

“In conjunction with the funding granted for the safer streets Ninefields project, numerous initiatives have been successfully implemented, including the construction of new bin stores, education programs promoting healthy relationships in primary schools, community clean-up days, the establishment of a new play area, and the introduction of enhanced CCTV and Crimestoppers zones. These comprehensive measures effectively support the project’s objectives of reducing environmental crime, addressing anti-social behaviour, and fostering a safer neighbourhood.”

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