Essex Police & Crime
Local news from Essex Police and other criminal justice agencies
Local news from Essex Police and other criminal justice agencies
Essex Police are warning residents not to leave their home in the dark. With the nights drawing in, the tell-tale signs of empty houses become more apparent. This is a bonus for burglars who prefer to target empty homes unseen and avoid confrontation.
As the days get shorter if you work away from home, or even pop out to get the children from school, by the time you return home it may already be dark. A house in darkness says no one is in especially if your neighbour’s houses either side have lights on and show other signs of being occupied. If you back onto open farmland or have parking areas or footpaths to side or rear this may be even more apparent.
Create the “Illusion of Occupancy”, when its dark make your home look like you are in. Leave lights on or put them on timers or daylight sensors to come when it gets dark. Remember though no one lives in the hall or on the landing so if you leave these lights on supplement these with lights on in rooms that you would normally occupy at that time of day i.e. lounge and kitchen.
A carefully placed imitation TV or “Fake TV” can further add to that illusion of occupancy by making it look like the television is on. Some burglars may also listen at windows or letterboxes for signs of activity, so consider leaving a radio on within your home.
Don’t forget the outside of your property too, if burglars see that it is lit they are less likely to approach for fear of being seen.
Leave lights on, with energy efficient bulbs it costs very little nowadays and yet may save you lots!
The Parish Council have had updates from both Essex Highways & Essex Police that might be of interest:
Kevin Bentley, Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, introduced the second edition of “Highways Highlights” which gives updates on: Continue reading
The people of Essex are being urged to have their say in the potential change in the way Essex Police and Essex County Fire & Rescue Service is governed. To have your say respond to the consultation that ends on Wednesday 10th May.
The Policing and Crime Act 2017 enables police and crime commissioners to become the fire and rescue authority where a strong local case is made. The Government has also created a statutory duty to collaborate.
Police and Crime Commissioner Roger Hirst said: Continue reading
The future of policing in Essex will be the subject of a public lecture given later this month by the Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex.
In a public lecture as he approaches the end of his term in office PCC Nick Alston will reflect on his time as PCC as he looks ahead to how Essex police will need to respond to the changes in crime across Essex and to the many other demands on police resources.
The lecture, entitled “Policing in Essex: The way ahead and the role of the PCC”, will also look at the developing role of the PCC and at the crucial links between Essex Police and other agencies in seeking to prevent crime and bring offenders to justice.
The event takes place on Thursday March 17 from 6.30pm to 7.30pm at Chelmsford’s Anglia Ruskin University.
The lecture will take place in the Lord Ashcroft building at Anglia Ruskin University in Bishop Hall Lane, Chelmsford, CM1 1SQ.
Refreshments will be available from 6pm with the lecture beginning at 6.30pm.
Essex Police and Essex County Fire & Rescue Service are working together to help make a difference in local communities, helping people to live & feel safer. They are launching a brand new volunteer scheme and are looking to recruit two Parish Safety Volunteers per Parish in Essex, tasked with arranging and conducting home safety visits. These volunteers will deliver crucial fire and crime prevention advice, extensive knowledge of local support services and the ability to fit smoke detectors directly into the homes of those most in need.
If you’re interested, you’ll need to apply for interview and be required to undertake Essex Police vetting. You will receive comprehensive training from both Essex County Fire and Rescue Service and Essex Police, a full uniform and all equipment required to carry out the role. To ensure volunteers are well supported, Parish Safety Volunteers from across the county will be invited to on-going training and networking opportunities throughout the year.
The purpose of this initiative is to make local communities safer, more resilient and better protected from fire and crime. It will do this by:
Essex County Fire and Rescue Service alongside Essex Police have a joint desire to increase community resilience and support the building of stronger communities in Essex.
Parish Safety Volunteers will be required to…
Parish Safety Volunteers will be expected to…
Referrals will be generated by Essex County Fire and Rescue Service and Essex Police, through the processes already used by the organisations to arrange home safety visits.
Referrals will also be generated by Parish Safety Volunteers themselves, as they will be promoting the service and already have some local knowledge of areas and individuals that would benefit from a PSV visit.
Parish Safety Volunteers will not require co-ordination or management from Parish Councils as Essex County Fire and Rescue Service will provide all support needed.
However, we will set up a direct line of communication between Parish Safety Volunteers and Parish Councils. This could mean that volunteers attend Parish Council Meetings to update on progress and activity. It could also mean a telephone or email update from volunteers. This will be a local arrangement tailored to the needs of the Parish Council in question and established when the scheme is introduced to the Parish.
ECFRS will send a bi-monthly progress update to all Parish Councils for whom the Parish Safety Co-ordinator holds contact details. This will be sent on approximately the final day of the month.
The Parish Safety Volunteer Co-ordinator will carry out a robust evaluation of the PSV scheme. This will be completed in by October 2016.
Parish Safety Volunteer Co-ordinator: Essex County Fire and Rescue Service – Kieron Moir.
No: 01376 576237
Please complete an application form, or get in touch using [email protected].
Quite a few bits of advice from Essex Police this month so a handy link list to find what might interest you:
With the Christmas holiday season almost upon us, now is a good time to remind ourselves to take steps to make sure our Christmas isn’t spoiled by criminals.
It creates opportunities for criminals. The hustle and bustle of town centres as we rush around, the value of the goods we buy as presents and store in our homes until the big day. We might also be more trusting and generous at Christmas when requests for charity are made, giving the unscrupulous a chance to collect for their own causes.
The advice below is often common sense, but you might overlook it in your haste to get everything ready.
When the shops are crowded, the pickpocket has more chance to steal from you. If you can’t arrange to shop during less busy times, make sure you stay alert and be extra careful with your wallet or purse. When carrying many bags, you will be too busy trying to hold on to these to be aware of anyone stealing from you. You could try to make smaller shopping trips rather than do it all at once and carry too much. Have your purse/wallet close to your body and don’t carry too much cash. The same applies to travelling on crowded buses or trains. If you travel by car, make sure you park in a well- lit area, lock all doors and windows and do not leave presents in view. Try not to return to your car to leave purchases in the boot before continuing with your shopping trip as thieves may well watch car parks for just such a chance. Arrange to collect heavy items from stores when you have finished all of your shopping. Always keep your chequebook and cheque card separately and never keep a note of your pin number with any of your credit or debit cards.
If you need to use an ATM (cash machine), try to use one which is either inside a bank or store, or one that is in a well-lit area, away from nooks and crannies. Be aware of who and what is close by, if the ATM looks as though it has been tampered with, do not use it (and report it to the Bank or store a.s.a.p.). Never use an ATM if someone is using a mobile phone behind you, or close by. (They could be tapping your pin number into their phone memory). It is often a safer option to use a supermarket, shop or store that offers cash-back.
Having bought all those wonderful presents, don’t make it easy for someone to steal from your home. Keep them out of sight until last thing on Christmas Eve and if you ‘hide’ or store larger items such as bicycles in the shed or outbuildings, make sure they are very secure. Now is a good time to check that you know what you have both normally (TV, Video etc) and with the extra presents you have bought. You may well find you need to check your insurance to make sure you are covered for the value of goods in your home. Take the frame numbers of new cycles and the serial numbers of new electrical equipment for future reference. Remember, empty boxes left outside advertise that you have new goods inside – dispose of packaging carefully.
If you go out for the evening – make it look like someone is at home by turning on lamps or house lights and, the radio. Don’t leave curtains open so people can see your decorations, potential thieves can also see in. Be extra careful about locking doors and windows. As a fire precaution, don’t leave ‘Christmas lights’ on in the house whilst you are out.
If you go away for the holiday period – use an automatic timer for lights and ask a trusted neighbour to watch your home. Don’t forget to cancel newspapers and milk if you have them delivered and either redirect your mail through the Post Office or have your neighbour take mail into the house – unopened Christmas cards and mail, are a sure sign that a house is empty.
Strangers at the door – genuine delivery personnel, usually have uniforms and liveried vehicles and should not need to come into your home. Charity collectors will have identification and will not be offended if you ask to see it. If you are not sure but want to make a donation, ask whether these can be made in other ways, perhaps through a bank.
Make sure someone knows where you are going and what time you will be back. Don’t drink too much – you could become a target for thieves.
We all do it, walk away from the car and with our back turned to the car press the button on the key to lock it, never thinking that it may not lock. Yet a simple thing like looking at the car as you press that button to get the confirmation of it locking with lights flashing, or just pulling the handle to check it is locked can prevent a lot of thefts of or from motor vehicles. Why does it not always lock, it could be fault, battery running low, user error or some individual with device to block your signal nearby. In any case Lock it, Check it and we can prevent some crimes.
If you have cars of different values, where possible park the higher value car in your garage. When parking a car on your driveway ensure it is well lit and park the lower value car in front of the higher value car, as the thieves are more likely to target high value cars and will be deterred if they can’t easily drive such a car away from the scene. Locked gates and collapsible posts on the driveway will also deter the thief. With high value cars consider the fitting of a tracking system.
As cars become more and more advanced and rely more and more on computers to manage their systems our thieves become more technical too. To cater for both the technical and less technical thief use the locking system on your vehicle and look to the good old fashioned “Krook Lock”, steering wheel, or pedal lock to supplement it, it has a great visual deterrent.
Lastly before you turn in for the night check that all doors, ground floor windows and easily accessible windows are closed and locked. PVCu doors – don’t forget that the door is not fully locked until you have lifted the inside handle and turned the key. If you have an intruder alarm and can do so activate the downstairs zone. To stop the burglar getting to the vulnerable windows and doors to the rear ensure that side gates are closed and locked.
Please also ensure that you put your car keys somewhere safe and out of sight, when you return home. Put your car keys in a drawer (preferably one that is noisy to open) or some other secure place, but don’t take them up to the bedroom with you.
There is an increase in items being stolen from cars in car parks at this time of year whilst drivers are distracted loading purchases into their vehicles.
When you have finished your shopping please:
Whenever you’re about to post something online, pause and just imagine someone in authority, someone you respect, reading that post or looking at that photo. If that feels uncomfortable, don’t do it.
Think about using a nickname instead of your real name if you’re signing up to a microblogging site like Twitter.
Consider setting up a separate, personal email account to use with social media sites, rather than using your work, or even your main personal email. Remember, only connect to people you know.
Use the privacy and security settings on social media sites so that only friends and family can see your pages.
Then speak to friends and family and encourage them to tighten their privacy settings too as they could affect you.
Even if your account is locked as private, personal information you have shared with others could still be accessed through their pages.
Don’t use your mother’s real maiden name as a password or as a bank security answer. It doesn’t really matter whether you use the real one so make up a name that only you know. Just make sure you remember it.
Don’t post any personal information – your address, email address or mobile number – publicly online. Just one piece of personal information could be used by a complete stranger to find out even more. If you want to include your birthday in your profile it’s safer not to actually display it publicly – providing your full date of birth makes you more vulnerable to identity fraud.
Be careful about which photos and videos you share on social media sites – avoid photos of your home, work, school or places you’re associated with. Remember, once you’ve put a picture of yourself online, other people may be able to see it and download it – it may not just be yours anymore.
Don’t give out information online simply because it’s asked for – think whether whoever is asking for it, really needs it. When you’re filling in forms online, for example to register with a website or sign up for a newsletter, always provide the minimum information possible.
It’s almost always possible to send a direct message or private message on social media platforms. If you’re having a personal chat, this is the best option to go for – unless you don’t mind sharing your conversation with millions of other users. Alternatively, send an email from a private account.
If you’ve stopped using a social media site or forum, then close your account down. There’s no point in leaving personal information out there unnecessarily.
Make sure you have anti-virus software installed on your computer and be careful what you download or install on your computer.
Essex Police have successfully completed a six-months trial in West Essex, which includes the districts of Epping, Brentwood, Harlow and Thurrock. It is now intended to roll it out to the rest of Essex from October and the Police & Crime Commissioner is inviting those groups and agencies who might be interested in getting involved to attend one of two launch events:
The afternoon will begin with a buffet lunch, followed by talks and presentations focusing on the success of the West Essex RJ pilot, the impact of restorative justice on those that take part, and what the roll-out means for you in your organisation.
The launch will involve speeches from PCC Nick Alston, members of the RJ Hub and examples from those who have participated in Restorative Justice in Essex.
If you are interested in attending please contact Emma Callaghan, Restorative Justice Hub Development Manager, by email [email protected], before Friday 16th October.
Restorative Justice is a process which gives victims the opportunity to meet or communicate with those who have offended against them. It holds offenders to account and helps them take responsibility for the harm they have caused. Both parties discuss next steps and the offender can then make amends.
Victims are given the chance to explain to a criminal the impact a crime has had on them, ask questions of the offender and seek an apology. It enables offenders to be held to account for what they have done but also take responsibility for the harm they have caused.
If a face-to-face meeting is not appropriate they can do so indirectly via letters or messages. Restorative justice is used for less serious offences or conflicts, such as graffiti or anti-social behaviour. Everyone involved must consent to take part.
Please be aware of recent fraud activity that is targeting businesses within our Region.
Fraudsters are ringing up company wage clerks/finance directors claiming to be from Barclay’s Fraud department and gaining permission to remotely access the victim’s computer system. This is on the pretence that their business account has been compromised. The victim opens up the bank account, the fraudster then transfers the money into what they state will be the company’s new, none compromised account. The funds are then automatically distributed in seconds. Total regional losses have exceeded £1 million.
If you are a victim of “Vishing” call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use our online tool to report the fraud and receive a police crime reference number. DI 3159 Lee Morton Serious Economic Crime Unit
Savvy smartphone users will soon be able to access the latest news from Essex Police through a brand new app.
The app will enable residents to receive localised messages straight to their device, from Essex Police officers, staff and key partners such as Neighbourhood Watch.
Those who sign up will be able to select information on what they would like to receive – based on where they live, work or socialise. A new photo feature will also allow users to view images to identify stolen property and help find missing or wanted people.
In its first year, ECM has already proved useful in alerting residents to crime and missing people in their areas – and even assisted in the conviction of a bogus charity collector. Earlier this year, PC Sam Waters sent out a message to alert Wickford residents about a man who was believed to be knocking on doors requesting sponsorship money for charity and using the money for his own gain. The ECM message led to 12 people coming forward with information.
On the information that was received, a 30-year-old man was arrested and later admitted four counts of fraud by false representation. He received a 12 week suspended sentence at Basildon Magistrates’ Court.
Chief Supt Luke Collison, ECM Project Lead, said:
Following the success of the initial ECM platform, we were keen to develop a smart phone app version. We recognise that more and more people in Essex use mobile technology and we clearly want to be a part of that in how we deliver modern policing.
We want to share as much information as we can with the public, quickly and efficiently so that communities are up to date on local policing issues. The ECM app allows us to target our messages to ensure we get the right information to the right people.
This is the first smart app that Essex Police has launched and we are convinced it will help many people stay safe across the county.
Nick Alston, Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex, said:
We’re continuing to develop Essex Community Messaging to make it even easier to get key crime and community safety information out to local people faster than ever. It’s also essential that ECM provides a channel for a two-way flow of information between Essex Police, our Watch groups, and the people of Essex.
I encourage everyone to sign up to ECM. It’s a great way of learning simple measures to prevent crime and it also provides an opportunity to report suspicious behaviour which may help Essex Police to bring criminals to justice.
Information on how to download the app is available on the ECM website: www.essex.police.uk/ecm