Saturday, September 30, 2023

Essex Police battle large number of robberies at Lakeside

POLICE Officers from Lakeside and Grays community policing teams have joined forces to conduct high-visibility patrols of Lakeside shopping centre as an attempted deterrent to youths committing robberies and anti-social behaviour.

Lakeside welcomes more than 20 million visitors a year to its shops, restaurants and leisure facilities but with that brings an increased risk of attracting those determined to commit crime.

There were 28 instances of robbery recorded in 2023 but officers believe the offence may be under-reported.

Many of the incidents involve youths targeting other youths.

There have also been reports of anti-social behaviour involving young people, ranging from being disruptive in shops to riding bikes through the centre.

Lakeside is a popular meeting point for young people and is easily accessible via the c2c train line and by bus. However, the public transport system makes it easy to leave the area quickly, with the footbridge to Chafford Hundred station being a regular exit route for suspects.

Officers have been working alongside Lakeside’s security team to patrol the areas regularly frequented by teenagers, including The Quay, the food court and secluded areas of car parks.
They have also been engaging with shop staff and members of the public who use the centre.

This work formed part of Operation Community, a monthly day of intensification that moves away from traditional reactive policing towards a proactive approach based on decisive early interventions to address local issues before they escalate.

This high-impact, high-visibility approach emphasises prevention, problem-solving, and community engagement.
Sergeant Adam Bowden led the operation. He said:
“There have been instances of robbery and anti-social behaviour at Lakeside so we’ve been patrolling across the centre to be a highly visible presence for the public and deter any potential troublemakers.
“It is groups of youths who are responsible. They tend to travel to Lakeside by train, sometimes coming considerable distances.
“There are a number of people who we know have been causing issues in the centre and today we dealt with another youth who was highlighted by Lakeside security as being a repeat offender for anti-social behaviour.
“We’ve also been engaging with lots of shoppers to show them we are here, and that Lakeside is a safe place for them and their families to visit.”
If you see anti-social behaviour being committed you can report it online:
If you see a crime in progress, always ring 999.


  1. The reason is there are no Police at Lakeside. There used to be Police stationed there. Essex Police Force are a joke.

  2. Police & Security are always at the center wether visible or not doing a tough job day in day out to keep people safe and well. In my opinion its parents at home that need to know what their child has been doing so they can work with them to show theres better ways to enjoy life.


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