Inspector Fisher of Essex Police commented that the visibility of police officers had been raised at the last meeting and in response to that he wanted to provide more information about what Police officers are doing when they aren’t out on patrol. He explained that officers responsibilities included managing hate crime, attendances at court, arresting suspects, observing people in custody or at the hospital, preparing files for the CPS, attending community forums, attending safeguarding meetings, policing local protests, dealing with low level drugs, gangs and warrants. He explained the list was not exhaustive and he could go on. Inspector Fisher assured the Committee, the officers are very busy and that they want to be out on the beat.
Inspector Fisher updated the Committee that the off- road nuisance vehicles team launched about 6 weeks ago and stated that they have had quite a lot of success already. The target was to issue 30 Section 59 warnings by the end of the year and they have already issued 71 to date. The aim is to reach 100.
Inspector Fisher updated the committee on Operation Raptor and the injunctions issued for Grays town centre. He explained that the main 5 elders of the group have been charged and interim orders have been granted against 8 juvenile members and they will be in court again in December for the court to decide whether to grant full injunctions. They are also confident that they are going to serve a further 8 adult injunctions hopefully by December and that this will be the beginning of the end of an emerging gang.
Regarding Chadwell St Mary and the fire in the children’s park, Inspector Fisher outlined that from some of the pop-up events and coffee with cops residents have expressed concern about crime and anti-social behaviour and in response to this operation Reggie commenced which involved additional patrols to address this and to try and increase community confidence. For Thurrock anti-social behaviour is down 52.4%. A lot of ASB was around off and on road nuisance vehicles and operation Ceasar and Operation Irish Lions has probably had an impact on this. Violence is down and burglary is also down 7%.
The Chair commented that Operation Ceasar is definitely working as she doesn’t think she has had any complaints about bikes in the last 6 weeks. The Chair stated that the Police were doing a brilliant job in bringing the motorcycle problem under control.
Councillor Arnold queried whether the number of hours on patrol is recorded.
Inspector Fisher responded that this is different depending on which type of Police team you are looking at. For the town centre team where it is an important part of their role to be visible and engaging with businesses and the community their hours on patrol are recorded. For other teams it is not necessarily the best use of their time. In modern policing there are so many other strands to keeping the community safe aside from being on patrol. Inspector Fisher invited Councillor Arnold to come out on patrol with one of the police teams.
Councillor Arnold responded that he would love to take Inspector Fisher up on his offer. He commented that residents look for the visual police presence and clearly there is a lot going on behind the scenes.
Councillor Byrne referred to seeing on social media that Manor Way is still being used as a race track.
Inspector Fisher responded that car cruises are still happening and this has been a long term issue in Thurrock. From intelligence it seems that the significant meets containing lots of cars are focussed on the west of Thurrock and Lakeside. Operation Irish lions is dealing with this and they know that when they disrupt them they often head over to the manor way. Inspector Fisher confirmed his teams are often in the area between 2am and 4 am in the morning when this activity tends to happen and they are trying to keep the roads safe. Inspector Fisher encouraged residents to report places and times they see this happening and vehicle registration numbers as the more intelligence the police have the better.
Councillor Redsell raised the issue of e-scooters.
Inspector Fisher confirmed the Government are still conducting trials of e-scooters being legalised and the trial has been extended. He was clear that some members of the public are very supportive of them and some think they are dangerous. Inspector Fisher confirmed he hoped to receive clear guidance from the Government soon in relation to e-scooters.
Councillor Muldowney highlighted that lots of trees have been vandalised on Orsett Heath and the council have told her to advise residents to report vandalism to the police, she queried if this was correct.
Inspector Fisher confirmed it did depend on the act. However, an ongoing crime series even if not criminal damage is still something that is anti-social and the police can target and deal with it.
Councillor Muldowney queried if the town centre police team are funded by the council tax rises.
Inspector Fisher confirmed he wouldn’t have the information, but it could probably be requested from the PFCC (Police Fire Crime Commissioner).
Councillor Byrne highlighted that the location of coffee with cops in the library was not the best location to reach a wide range of people. He suggested that the vape shop gets people of all ages coming in and they would be willing to offer their shop as a venue for coffee with the cops.
Inspector Fisher confirmed the purpose of coffee with the cops is about engagement with the community and the more people they can reach the better. He agreed it is something that could be explored.
Inspector Fisher and Michelle Cunningham left the meeting at 20.24