Thursday, July 25, 2024

Sunday Comment: Stanford’s Facebook vigilantes

THE STANFORD-LE-HOPE resident was walking down the street when (according to his version) he was approached by a young man who offered him an X-box.

The resident, mindful of recent burglaries in the area, took a photograph of the young man. He went home and contacted Essex Police. But at the same time, he posted the photo on Facebook page called “Stanford-le-Hope”.

The photo has attracted a lot of comment with people claiming they know him.

In many ways the page has become a form of cyber Neighbourhood Watch. Residents have been able to see the photos and share them.

This has not been the only case in Stanford. The mugging of an elderly lady in Stanford-le-Hope, noisy parties in Wharf Road and many reports of crimes.

People have expressed their frustration at police response times.

The danger is that people may not be aware as to whether they are committing offences or not.

Most members of the public are not au fait with the  Contempt of Court Act 1981 or the provisions of Attempting to Pervert the Course of Justice or indeed a number of public order acts.

One thread discusses commuters parking in roads near to Stanford-le-Hope station. Some people point out that if a car is taxed and licensed and is parked on a road without restrictions then there is nothing you can do.

A Facebook person states: “Let their tyres down, do it a few times they won’t be back.”

If that youth has been charged then the photo needs to come down. If the people who are alleged to have mugged the lady in Burgess Avenue have been arrested then surely the comments regarding their possible ethnicity need to be removed etc.

It is a headache for the police. This month they have been dragged away on Olympic duty and so it must be a challenge to police certain areas as best they can.

There may well end up being a test case. Then we will see who gets tagged….




  1. as I am a member of the said page on facebook i feel i should say someing about this report.

    The page started out as a place to talk about what our are was once like and to post photos of how it once looked.

    over the last few weeks it has also been used to let others know what has been going on in our area in the way of crime, Crime in Stanford is not reported in the media that much and due to this it can seem that the police might not be doping there job, i am sure they are but in a todays world of 24hr news media if something is not reported in the media it can look as if nothing is being done.

  2. Get a grip writer. Anyone out there who is in fear for their safety has the right to do whatever it takes to defend themselves. If you want to spout the usual PC line go ahead but the local community has the right to take back its streets and stop these scumbags robbing and stealing. A little bit of educating the public might not go amiss too instead of writing what is clearly a piece designed to get a reaction.

  3. I think everybody seems to have missed the point here, under the present governments cut backs to Essex police, it means that there are 22% less police on the streets, they are putting bored members of civil staff on windows at open police stations, most police stations are now closing down or being opened for four to five hours aday, our police station in South Ockendon is now policed by PCSO’s, who cant be everywhere and do everything, because they are mainly on foot or have the use of a push bike, how can you chase a car thief on a bike!, what we all should be doing is having meetings with our MP’s and demand how police officers back and our police stations opened again, in a sense we are telling the criminal element on our hosing estates that it is open house to do what you like, when you like because the response timings when you report a crime is very low, with one panda car per area if you are lucky.


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