Harlow Council is to employ extra officers and make improvements to The Stow and Bush Fair shopping centres to help reduce antisocial behaviour and crime
Last Thursday night’s (20 July 2017) Cabinet meeting agreed proposals to employ up to three more community safety officers. They will join the existing Community Safety Team and work with the public and community groups to target antisocial behaviour and environmental crimes like littering, fly-tipping and graffiti.
The new officers will be deployed to provide a presence and work in areas such as the Town Centre, The Stow, Bush Fair and Staple Tye. The officers will also support and work closely with Essex Police on specific operations.
The Council is to also make improvements to street lighting, street furniture, planting and the layout in both the Stow and Bush Fair to help discourage crime and antisocial behaviour and make them more attractive places to visit, shop and do business.
Councillor Jon Clempner, Leader of Harlow Council, said:
“Nationally there has been an increase in crime and locally our communities have been unsettled by some high profile incidents which have taken place in the town. For most Harlow remains a safe place in which to live, work and visit and these steps are about reassuring and supporting our residents and businesses. We want to work with them to tackle any issues head on and respond directly to some of the local concerns and the national picture. We will be taking a zero-tolerance approach and using a range of measures to prevent antisocial behaviour but to do that we need the extra resources in place.
“Improvements to the Stow and Bush Fair shopping centres are about raising pride in these areas but also discouraging antisocial behaviour and criminal activity along with uniformed Officers working in these areas.”
The Council is allocating £200,000 for the measures which will be financed by an underspend in its budgets for 2016/17.
The new officers will be highly visible working different shifts including weekends and evenings and will receive training as part of Essex Police’s Community Safety Accreditation Scheme.
The current Community Safety Team dealt with 3,651 reports between April 2016 and March 2017.