Chief Constable commends officers, staff and partners for their work to tackle a violent gang in Thurrock.

Chief Constable commends officers, staff and partners for their work to tackle a violent gang in Thurrock.

FIVE police officers, five members of police staff and two members of partner agency staff have been commended by Essex Police Chief Constable Ben-Julian Harrington for their hard work and dedication in protecting the people of Essex, keeping them safe and catching criminals.

Together with proud family members and special guests, they were invited to a socially-distanced ceremony which adhered to the Rule of 6 at Essex Police Headquarters in Chelmsford on Friday 25 September, where they were recognised by Mr Harrington for their exceptional service to our communities in Essex.

Following a minute’s silence for the Metropolitan Police officer shot dead in Croydon earlier in the day, Mr Harrington presented each with a commendation, which is one of the highest honours a Chief Constable can give.

They were commended for a multi-agency operation to target the C17 gang within the Thurrock district. Two years ago, C17 were connected to serious violence, drug supply and anti-social behaviour. Young, vulnerable people were regularly targeted and recruited into the group and caused significant issues within the Thurrock community.

However, the team’s hard work led to the granting of 11 civil gang injunctions which have helped to disrupt C17’s criminal activity. They continue to disrupt the gang and continue to seek further injunctions, including one interim injunction granted at Chelmsford County Court earlier in the day against the leader of the gang.

Mr Harrington said: “We are here to commend colleagues for some fantastic work. We are here to help people, keep them safe and catch the bad guys and this job does all three things. This is extraordinary work done by ordinary people who are making the world a better place.

“These are pioneering gang injunctions which target gang members but are also aimed at diverting young people from crime. The team has followed them up relentlessly across the country because we want to keep our young people and our communities safe from harm.

“It takes a community of professionals to solve these problems and there has been some great partnership working with Thurrock Community Safety Partnership and Youth Offending Service to achieve this. The district is safer because of your work.”

Among those commended for their work was PC Steve Fraser who, with a colleague in Thurrock Community Policing Team, initially identified the risk the gang posed for the local community. They targeted the gang with regular stop checks, proactive patrols, submitting intelligence and obtaining impact statements from the local community.

“I feel a great sense of pride for being recognised for all the hard work and months and months of investigation and evidence-gathering. A colleague and I became aware of problems because of our proactive street policing and, when we started looking into them, we identified bigger issues, which is when we got the Operation Raptor street gangs team involved.”
PC Steve Fraser

DC Dan Stevens was commended for his work with multiple agencies to review arrests of and intelligence for gang members. He provided a detailed statement to court which detailed the harm caused by the gang and regularly attended court after any breaches to ensure suspects were remanded.

“I’m so proud as the team has worked really well together and it’s nice to see everyone recognised for the hard work we have put into keeping young people safe. When we were first putting the operation together, a young gang member was murdered in London and that concentrated our efforts.
“The gangs thought they could act with impunity in public areas but the gang injunctions have shown them this is not the case. It has also shown the public we won’t tolerate this sort of activity and that we will target those who seek to cause harm through violence, drug-dealing and the criminal exploitation of young people.”
DC Dan Stevens

PC Jon Kemp helped to gather intelligence and evidence to submit to the courts. He played a key role in the enforcement of the injunction, regularly leading arrest attempts for any breaches and attending remand hearings in person. He regularly briefed officers and circulated details to ensure that prolific offenders were targeted.

“This is the culmination of a lot of hard work by a lot of people, including Thurrock Council, over the past two years. It is great to be recognised for it. It’s been good to have the courts supporting our applications for injunctions. This has made Thurrock a safer place because the gang are no longer a problem in the town centres they were directly affecting.”
PC Jon Kemp

Force solicitor Fiona Philpott and assistant solicitor Claire Holmes provided clear and constructive guidance in achieving best evidence to provide to the courts. They reviewed the submission of all paperwork to ensure it was legally and factually correct and they continue to advise in the enforcement of the injunction.

“I feel very proud and humble that the contribution of Legal Services has been recognised in this way. It is lovely to know we have made a difference and helped to make the streets of Thurrock safer.”

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