New Crime Prevention Strategy aims to stop crime before it starts
Essex Police has launched a new crime prevention strategy which the force says prioritises the highest harms our county faces.
The strategy was informed by work with community safety partners and comes as the Essex-wide ‘Let’s Talk About Crime’ campaign continues to set out quick and easy steps people across the county can take to make people and property safer and reduce the risk of being a victim of crime.
The strategy has nine strands, each of which tackles an area of crime where the levels of threat, risk and harm to the public are highest or which are happening in increasing volumes. It will prioritise better sharing of data between local partners to identify trends and allocate police resources, early intervention with gang members and domestic abuse perpetrators to stop offending, and ensure more ‘join-up’ with partners to focus on crime hot spots.
The strategy is launched shortly after the publication by the Office for National Statistics of data on crime for every police force in the country which showed:
- Crime recorded by Essex Police increased by 12% for the year ending June 2018 compared to the previous year;
- Although violent crime is increasing in Essex and across the country, Essex experiences less ‘violence with injury crime’ per 1,000 people than Devon and Cornwall;
- Essex is the only police force in the east of England where recorded burglary offences are reducing
- Sexual offences increased by over 20%, higher than the England and Wales average
Assistant Chief Constable Andy Prophet said: “As demand for our time and help increases, if we don’t act to set out a clear expectation for police and our partners on how we’ll work in different ways to prevent crime from happening we risk heading in to a world that is only focused on responding to incidents that have already harmed people and property.”
“Crime doesn’t just happen: it has its roots in complex problems which are solved together – whether that’s communities, councils, businesses or the voluntary sector. This strategy isn’t set in a world where we suddenly have more time and money: it’s a statement of intent that sets out where our main effort will be to prevent as much crime happening as we can.”
“If that results in someone not committing a high-harm domestic abuse offence because an early intervention project has helped them, or if it means a bank recognises a scammer trying to hoodwink an elderly person into withdrawing their savings, this strategy will be a success. We’ll be working hard every day with partners to make sure that’s the case.”
Roger Hirst, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex said: “We all want to live in safe, secure communities where crime is prevented from happening and where we are all free to prosper. “Working together with partners and the communities they serve, Essex Police can make a real difference by tackling the causes of crime and preventing people becoming involved in criminal activity in the first place.
“This strategy clearly sets out the focus for crime prevention over the coming years, supporting victims, tackling offenders and reducing the impact on our communities.”
“Tackling crime is not only the job of the police. It is all of our jobs to help our communities stay safe and prevent crime wherever we can.”
Caroline Wiggins, Community Safety Manager at Epping Forest District Council and representative of the Essex Community Safety Network, said: “Community safety partnerships have proved effective in bring different agencies together to solve difficult and often complex problems, build community resilience and make our communities safer. Only by working together can we make the change we want to see a reality.”