A LEADING Essex police officer has vowed to be “absolutely ruthless” in cracking down on anti-social behaviour across north east Essex.

Since the turn of the year officers operating in Tendring have responded to just shy of 2,000 reports of anti-social behaviour, while Colchester town centre saw just under 1,000 incidents between June 2020 and May this year.

During the same period, officers in the likes of Braintree, Halstead and Maldon also had to deal with 1,212 reports of anti-social behaviour.

Essex Police’s Assistant Chief Constable Andy Prophet, however, said the numbers confirm how seriously the force takes the issue.

Harwich and Manningtree Standard:

Speaking as part of Anti-Social Behaviour Awareness Week, Mr Prophet said: “Anti-social behaviour is a priority for Essex Police and I want people to report it to us, because it wrecks lives and communities.

“We have invested significantly and we now have more officers out in communities responding to crime and tackling anti-social behaviour.

“To us, anti-social behaviour is not a low level crime but a priority and we want to fix the problem.”

Those on the receiving end of troublesome acts, believe more needs to be done to tackle the problem.

Earlier this year, for example, elderly Jaywick residents claimed they were being regularly tormented by young yobs.

“I would say to the people of Jaywick if they are having problems in their community please tell us because only once we know can we then establish what the patterns and longer term issues are,” added Mr Prophet.

“We are committed to tackling problems in Jaywick, just as much as we are everywhere else and people will be taken seriously when they report anti-social behaviour.”

Following the end of lockdown restrictions, Mr Prophet says the force is anticipating a potential surge in anti-social behaviour.

Harwich and Manningtree Standard:

He has now vowed to crackdown on any troublemakers who may look to disrupt the county’s return to a sense of normality after the pandemic.

He added: “Can I promise you we will see officers on every street corner 24-hours day?

“No, I can’t, because we have to make difficult decisions and work out wear the most harm is being caused.

"But we are going to be absolutely ruthless and will be taking positive action.”