Operation Brightshadow, which sees police follow prolific criminals, has been rolled out across Thurrock.
The operation, one of the first of its kind in the county, was used in Basildon last year, and aims at stopping the areas most prolific criminals committing crime by overtly following them.
Police targeted a list of four known offenders for three days this week, and kept them under observation so they couldn’t commit crimes. The subjects were given a letter at the start of the operation, explaining that the police would be following them.
These individuals were all previously convicted for offences, including burglary, and police intelligence suggests that they are currently actively involved in criminality.
DI Simon Anslow, who heads the intelligence unit for Basildon and Thurrock and the brain child behind Brightshadow, said: “We have focussed on offenders in Tilbury and the Ockendon area. These people have been identified through intelligence as currently being active in committing crime and causing the most harm to our communities.
“If we follow them, they can’t commit crime, and it really is as simple as that. It gives the community where they live some peace and quiet.”
DI Anslow is keen to stress that this operation is not only effective, but it is fair. He added: “Some people may say this is unfair, but I say to that, what’s more unfair than having your house broken into and having items taken that you have worked hard for?
“We balanced the right of the criminal not to be followed by police with the right of the public not to be a victim of crime, and I consider the balance to come down firmly in favour of the law-abiding public.”