THURROCK Council have teamed up with the police to help vulnerable members of the borough during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under Operation Valour, officers from the specialist Operation Raptor team are working alongside Community Policing
Team colleagues and Thurrock Borough Council to help those most in need during these challenging times including the homeless community and those with substance dependencies.
As part of the drive to protect the vulnerable, officers are increasing their patrols and visits to areas known to be frequented by members of the homeless community to help ensure their safety. As well as checking on their welfare, they are directly linking them to housing staff at Thurrock Borough Council to ensure they complete
housing applications to get them off of the streets and into a place of safety.
The Raptor team, who specialise in tackling drug and gang-related crime, are also supporting habitual drug users who are struggling with the challenges of the current restrictions.
They are working with the team at Inclusion Visions, the adult substance misuse treatment and support service across Thurrock, and carrying out welfare visits to ensure individuals in need receive the right level of
support and treatment to keep them safe.
Acting Sergeant Jonathan Kemp of the West Operation Raptor team said: “The current restrictions on our movements are difficult for all of us not least those who are homeless and therefore at greater risk of
catching the virus.
“It is also a difficult time for those struggling with substance misuse issues who may not be able to get out to access their usual support services or friends and family who help them through.
“We have joined up with our partners at Thurrock Council and Inclusion Visions Thurrock to ensure we are supporting vulnerable members of our community.
“We are working hard to ensure homeless people are off the streets and safe and we are also ensuring that people are signposted to where they can get the right help.
“We are committed to protecting and serving all of the communities of Essex but also helping people to stay home and save lives.”
As part of Operation Valour, targeted patrols are also being carried out around pharmacies and GP practices.
The patrols aim to prevent burglaries and thefts caused by the rising cost of Class A drugs.
Acting PS Kemp added: “We are realistic about the fact that some drug users may not wish to seek help and are continuing to consume Class A drugs.
“However as these drugs are becoming increasingly harder to come by, ruthless drug dealers are increasing the cost and this in turn could fuel a rise in acquisitive crime.
“We will not let that happen and are committed to continuing to prevent and detect all types of crime across the county and arresting those who think they can break the law and prey on the misery of others.”
If you have concerns about crime in your community call Essex Police on 999 in an emergency, 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously.
If you live in Thurrock, are aged 18 and over and are experiencing problems with alcohol or drugs please contact Inclusion Visions Thurrock on 0300 303 1018 or visit their website www.visions.inclusionthurrock.org/
Inclusion Visions is provided by Inclusion, part of Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.