Police in South Ockendon and Aveley are stepping up patrols of local parks to keep them safe for everyone to enjoy over the summer break.
Officers from the local neighbourhood policing team are joining forces with Thurrock Council community protection officers and park wardens to patrol key parks in the area, as part of operation parks police.
Officers will deal with anyone causing damage to play equipment and park robustly to make sure those visiting are doing so without causing a nuisance to anyone else.
Pc Leigh Munden, neighbourhood constable for Aveley, said: “The parks in our area are a great community resource, and give children and adults alike plenty to do for free over the summer breaks.
“We have had some reports of criminal damage in the parks, and we will be patrolling the area to make sure the law-abiding members of our community can use the spaces without any nuisance from those wanting to cause trouble.
“A small minority have been spoiling it for the majority, and we will take a robust stance against anyone found committing crime or anti-social behaviour.”
The operation will cover Dilkes Park, Aveley Rec, Bonnygate Park and Ockendon Rec over the remaining weeks of the summer break, and will cover both afternoons and evenings.
The operation has already seen one arrest since it started on Monday, August 2. An 18–year-old man from Basildon was arrested for assault on police after police responded to a report of anti-social behaviour. He was taken in police custody and was given a police caution.