Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Thurrock’s local policing team across the borough in focus

ESSEX Police have turned the spotlight on Thurrock’s local police team in a feature to mark Neighbourhood Police week.

On an average day, Essex Police receives 97 calls or reports from members of the public relating to incidents in the Thurrock district.

Reports of hate-related incidents and community issues will be investigated by community policing team officers, often working with Thurrock Council and other partner agencies to resolve them.

But usually, local policing officers are the first police officers you are likely to see at an incident and they will often investigate it, too.

From burglaries to domestic disputes, from concerns for safety to searching for high-risk missing people, from anti-social behaviour and criminal damage to assaults and dealing with the results of poor & dangerous driving – no two days are the same.

During a recent 24-hour period, officers deployed to a variety of incidents, including assaults, arguments between partners, a robbery, reports of a concern for someone’s welfare – often officers leave them in the care of NHS services or ambulance crew – several thefts, a burglary, a report of a dog without an owner not allowing a man to leave his home safely, clearing debris from a carriageway on the A13, a missing person and reports of drug dealing.

Officers also made inquiries following a report from its own Force Control Room about misuse of the 999 system and recovered a stolen caravan and returned it to its owner.

Many officers on local policing teams love this variety and say that is what attracts them to the job.

PC Jack Browne has been on the Thurrock Local Policing Team for more than two years and says: “Every single job you can think of, we deal with.

“I’ve liaised with the families of murder victims. That sticks in your mind because their lives have changed forever.

“We are the first responders and we obtain all the evidence we can, even if the job is later passed on to specialist investigators.

“You never know what you are going into because it’s often different to what we were initially told by the caller. But we’d rather be told if something seems suspicious and then we can check it out.

“I just go in with an open mind and give everything to it.

“We attend a lot of reports of domestic assaults and it’s often these jobs I remember, too, because it can be hard initially to get the victim to speak.

“I understand that as it’s someone they love who’s done something to them so we sit down and have a conversation and that often helps us to get the information we need.

“Even if they don’t want to go to court, we can pass the details on to the safeguarding team in the force’s Central Referral Unit, who contact the victim, put safeguarding measures in place and stay in regular contact.

“It’s very satisfying to be able to help them.”

PC Josh Edwards is a relatively new member of the team and he is enjoying the work immensely.

“Even though we go to the same types of jobs, particularly domestic violence, mental health incidents and suspects seen on premises, each one is different because of the people and the circumstances,” he says.

“We signed up to bear the awful stuff on our shoulders so others don’t have to. We do get called out to things that turn out to be nothing but I’d rather that than people not call us and it turns out to be someone’s worst day.

“We only really see people on their worst day but we are happy to help them. We might only have a chat but the safeguarding which can be put in place after, or the organisations we can point them to for help, will help to set them up for the future.”

Every shift is busy but sometimes there is time for local policing officers to go out on proactive patrols in between attending incidents to engage with the public and build neighbourhood links.

And there are always some jobs which require some investigation on the spot before they are handed over to a specialist team for further investigation.

Recently, Josh accompanied the victim of a stabbing in an ambulance to hospital. Fortunately, they weren’t seriously injured but Josh was able to quickly obtain their ‘first account’ of what had happened. This is information which not only can help colleagues still at the scene to identify a suspect or further evidence but also assist the subsequent investigation.

Are you or is someone you know suffering from domestic abuse?

Domestic abuse can happen to anyone and comes in all different guises. If you feel unsafe or distressed by a loved one or family member, you could be a victim of domestic abuse.

And domestic abuse is never acceptable. Report it by dialling 999 in an emergency or 101 otherwise. If you call 999 and cannot speak because you’re in a dangerous situation, press 55 on your phone and our operator will know how to respond.

And if you are an abuser, is it time to Reflect on your behaviour? Call the Change Project on 0845 372 7701 or visit www.thechange-project.org for help and support to make a change.

Keep updated

If you want to keep updated about the work officers do, day in and day out, in your neighbourhood and across the Thurrock district to help people, keep you safe and catch criminals, Like, Follow and Share their posts on the Essex Police – Thurrock District Facebook page and @EPThurrock on Twitter.

You can also sign up to receive a weekly newsletter, Dispatch. www.essex.police.uk/dispatch


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