Anti-social behaviour drops significantly in Southend, Castle Point and Rochford

Anti-social behaviour dropped by almost a quarter across the Southend district and by a fifth in Castle Point and Rochford last year.

In Southend, between January 1 and December 31, 2021, police recorded 5,700 anti-social behaviour incidents, a drop of 23.3 per cent compared with the previous 12 months – that’s more than four fewer incidents a day.

Castle Point recorded 1,580 anti-social behaviour incidents over the same period – a decrease of 19.7 per cent compared with 2020.

1,172 anti-social behaviour incidents were recorded across Rochford, a drop of 20.5%.

Southend District Commander Chief Inspector Ian Hughes said: “Southend has the highest footfall of any seaside resort in the country and last year people flocked to the area in greater numbers than ever because they could not go abroad on holiday.

“So, to see this drop is particularly pleasing.

“We are expecting similar numbers of visitors this summer and plans are already in hand for our policing response, which will focus on additional high-visibility patrols in our town centres and the waterfront areas, which worked so well last year.

“Anti-social behaviour distresses individuals directly affected, but it also has an impact on our communities. We look to these communities to provide us with the information we need to record, address and solve incidents of anti-social behaviour.

“Any victim of anti-social behaviour is one too many.”

The community policing team has been renewing links across the district with businesses, charities and other organisations who join Essex Police and partners including Southend Council, Southend Community Safety Partnership, housing associations and British Transport Police, in helping to keep Southend safe.

Extra patrols have been put on to tackle anti-social behaviour surrounding sex workers and kerb crawlers in Ambleside Drive. CCTV cameras have been put up and our officers hold regular meetings with the Probation Service, Health and Social Care and the charities Aspirations and Rape Crisis.

They have built a rapport with the sex workers and work to safeguard them and fast-track them to the help Southend Treatment and Rehabilitation Service (STARS) can offer.

Next month, officers will be in Warrior Square with council staff and Neighbourhood Watch volunteers to talk to residents and businesses about anti-social behaviour in the area and to offer them crime prevention advice.

An officer speaks with door security staff

Welcoming the reduction in Castle Point and Rochford, District Commander Chief Inspector David Miles said: ““Working with Rochford and Castle Point Community Safety Partnership, we identified key ‘hotspot’ areas with higher levels of crime and anti-social behaviour than the rest of the district and funding was provided to enable officers to patrol them regularly.

“Incredible and significant support from our volunteer Special Constables means a continued rise in the number of hours we have been able to devote to patrolling across the district in general.”

A number of high-visibility operations have been carried out along Roscommon Way on Canvey to combat anti-social driving, from speeding vehicles to car meets. Using dispersal orders, officers have broken up a number of events.

For the past 18 months, police teams have worked with Rochford District Council and other partners to tackle and suppress the activities of criminal gangs of young people in the Rayleigh area, who were responsible for a hugely disproportionate amount of anti-social behaviour and crime across the district.

Their activities have been seriously disrupted after we arrested more than 20 gang members, who were made the subject of criminal behaviour orders and gang injunctions, which forbid them from contacting other gang members and place serious restrictions on their activities.

Report incidents of anti-social behaviour on the website www.essex.police.uk via Live Chat – open from 7am-11pm every day – or by completing an online report. You can also ring 101.

If you’ve been a victim of anti-social behaviour, or any crime, and are feeling mentally impacted by it, contact Victim Support on 0808 1689 111.

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Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]