To receive a verbal update from Chief Inspector Ronnie Egan.
Chief Inspector Ronnie Egan, District Commander addressed the Committee she advised that Detective Inspector Rob Kirby, due to attend the meeting to speak on crime solved rates within the Maldon District, was unfortunately unable to attend but she would endeavour to cover any questions. Chief Inspector (CI) Egan drew Members’ attention to the Essex Police Performance Summary report, appended to Agenda Item 9 – Maldon District Community Safety Partnership Update.
CI Egan provided Members with a detailed update and highlighted the following areas:
· Solved Rates – This was one of the Police priorities and a national issue. Work was ongoing across District to identify why figures had been falling.
Dwelling burglaries – There had been a spike in figures but
this was reducing and there had been a lot of work across the
Maldon and Chelmsford teams which had
shown very good results. Detective
Inspector Rob Kirby was running a new initiative which captured information on social
media / Essex Community Messaging to get specific messages out to
the public etc.
CI Egan referred to a recent spate of dwelling burglaries in Burnham-on-Crouch and how within two days of information going out arrests had been made and two persons charged. This success was down to the combined work of the Police, Community Policing Team, Community, Council etc.
Members were asked to encourage their local communities to continue working with the Police to capture information.
The Committee were advised of Operation Insight, which used predictive policing, and intelligence analysis to target the force’s resources at areas which, this information suggests, were most at risk of burglary. CI Egan referred to the number of burglaries since December 2015 to date and how the Maldon District compared with others.
· Proactive Working – CI Egan reported how she hoped to rerun Operation Galloway a partnership operation to tackle crime types across District, highly visible proactive working with gang teams, farmers in the District, the casualty reduction team etc. When originally run this Operation saw over 60 arrests across the Maldon and Chelmsford Districts.
· Theft of Motor Vehicles – The Maldon District had seen a significant increase this year and a similar patter had been seen across districts. No specific trends or patterns had been identified but the Police were working to identify more specific information regarding these crimes.
Rural Crime – This has been adopted as a
priority by the Police. Members
were informed of the ongoing work around
hare coursing (Operation Galileo) and how the Maldon District was
priority district for this. The Rural
Policing team at headquarters had been
expanded to specifically target this and traveller related
There had been a number of birds of prey poisoned in the Burnham area and work was ongoing between Natural England and the Police.
· Technology – Mobile devices had been used to good effect in supporting rural activities. Essex Police were seeking approval to purchase a software application, currently used by Kent Police, which incorporated Heritage Watch and provided opportunity for reports to be updated via the application.
· Volunteers – Close working with volunteers, neighbourhood watch, active citizens etc. continued. CI Egan advised that Essex Police were looking to encourage volunteers wanting to work with the Police and anyone interested should contact her team.
Following the update from CI Egan, a number of questions were raised by Members of the Committee and in response the following information was provided:
· Rural Crime on Farms – Rural crime had been adopted as a rural priority. In respect of thefts of equipment from farms, Members were advised that the nature of the property taken proved challenging but the Police were planning work around a rural crime panel to speak to victims to identify further learning and experience.
Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) Cameras – The
Police were working with BT and power networks to resolve
outstanding issues affecting the operation of some ANPR cameras
within the District. This had been a
very slow process and it was hoped the
cameras would be operational as soon as possible but the CI made it
clear the final resolution of the problem rested with third
parties. In response to a comment
regarding a resident being told the cameras had been checked
following a burglary when they were not in operation, CI Egan
advised that she would take this up separately outside of the
In response to a question regarding use of CCTV images captured by the public, CI Egan outlined how where an image of a suspect had been captured as part of the investigation this image would be shared across the Force (both Essex and other adjacent Forces) and specific trusted partners. The Police would seek to utilise every avenue including involving the local community to ensure identification of a suspect as quickly as possible.
· Members were reminded that Essex Police worked closely with the traveller community and CI Egan provided some examples of recent work. It was noted that the Traveller Unit at Police Headquarters had recently been expanded.
The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) offered his apologies for arriving late due to problems on the M25. He reported of a national programme for investment in digital policing which would scan the internet, social media etc. and be used to help Police investigations. The PCC reminded the Committee that posting an incident on social media was not reporting it to the Police and he highlighted the Police online reporting service.
The PCC then provided Members with a detailed update on a number of matters, highlighted below. It was noted that a new Police and Crime Plan had been published in November 2016 and contained a new key priority regarding local, visible, accessible policing. A second priority dealt with anti-social behaviour.
· The investment in technology had made Police more mobile, visible, capable of working remotely and able to be out of station and amongst the public. The importance of having visible Officer presence was noted.
· The PCC referred to the rebalancing of resources to provide better services to the public including more visible Officers preventing petty crime to ensure it did not escalate into more serious crime.
· He asked Members to encourage land owners not to take matters into their own hands but report them to the Police. Through reporting a better intelligence base could be built.
· The PCC reported that the policing precept was increasing by 3.25% this year which was the equivalent to £4.95 per band D household. These extra monies would be spent on 41 new front line Police Officers and 15 / 16 additional Officers in the force control room (which would provide a better response to non-emergency crime). Local responsibilities were delegated to the local Community Safety Partnership who were setting priorities for the Community Policing Teams. It was noted that in Maldon one of those rural priorities would be addressing rural crime. The PCC reported that across the County they were also making more investment in dealing with rural crime.
· Operation Galileo showed that the Police did take hare coursing, a serious crime, very seriously.
· A drone had been purchased which would be used for example, to identify persons hiding and would help improve chances of catching and dealing with criminals. It was noted that the drone was more effective than the Force helicopter in some scenarios and operated at a fraction of the cost.
· In respect of the travelling community, Members were advised that the Police would become involved in respect of criminal activity and not because they were travellers. The PCC reported of a recent successful meeting of the Rural and Traveller Crime Panel where a protocol and process for taking action had been agreed.
In response to a question regarding Operation Galileo, CI Egan reported that although there had not been any related arrests a number of warnings had been issued and she outlined the process for further prosecution. CI Egan agreed to provide Members with some information regarding this Operation as the solve rates in the Police Performance Summary did not relate to Operation Galileo offences.
Reference was made to a murder in St. Lawrence and DI Egan reported that she was aware of this incident and the Police had someone in custody at this time.