IT WAS, for many a very long day in the borough. But for all the organisations as well it was a very successful day as well.
Clearly, there was an early piece of intelligence that Lakeside may be a target but the police, the shops, Lakeside worked like a smoothly run machine to keep the oils of commerce running whilst not creating any fears.
The police were positioned at strategic points. Officers chatted with shop workers outside PC World in the retail park; police vans milled with traffic.
There was always five or six vehicles parked at Chafford Railway station but commuters came and went. Later on a group of local men gathered and a constable simply chatted away. It looked more like a recruiting session and was an example of the calm but watchful work that went on all day.
A Lakeside employee milled at the front near Burger King.
One thing that was noticeable in Lakeside was the total absence of groups of young people. Usually at this time of year, the place is heaving with groups of teenagers but yesterday, there were none and here we need to praise Thurrock parents who may well have told their young charges to stay away from potential trouble spots. It is worth saying in the light of what has happened all around the country when people are asking; “Where are the parents.”
Around the borough, life got on as normal. Thurrock Council did a lot of work behind the scenes, just keeping the wheels of Thurrock moving.
Senior officers such as Lucy Magill and Phil McCusker cascaded information, co-ordinating with deputy leader Valerie Morris-Cook who in turn kept many of the members informed.
BeSmart teams keeping it tidy but at the same time a bit of an ears and eyes job going on. Councillors continued to work with their community for example, Ockendon councillor Lynn Carr continues to work on one of many regeneration projects up on the Flowers Estate.
Of course the facebook nation was rife with rumour. If we had a penny for every person who said :”I heard that…..” Some people need to take heed. Some young people boasted on their feeds all number of feeds and need to realise that they could end up with a criminal conviction. And these are not yobs. Incitement to riot will look great on your UCAS form………
We don’t know if the fire at Thurrock Rugby Club was connected but all in all the day was a credit to the people of Thurrock.
You could tell there was a lot of very very concerned people out there who were worried that what they had seen just a few miles away could happen here but all credit to the borough for doing the right thing.