London riots: councillors receive reassurance letter from deputy chief constable

A LETTER on behalf of Essex Police has been sent to town, parish and district councillors across Uttlesford to reassure them the riots, which have plagued London, have not reached the county.

In the letter signed by deputy chief constable Derek Benson, it states Essex Police have sought to keep “our communities informed” by sending out a strong message to the public via social media and the police website.

The letter reads: We have seen no violent disorder in Essex akin to what has been happening in larger cities across the country. Where there has been minor disorder, Essex Police has acted quickly to make arrests. On Monday following a burglary in Buckhurst Hill, 13 men were arrested, and following minor damage to a police vehicle in Loughton, two male youths were arrested. In Harlow, four people were arrested for minor damage in the town centre. We have seen a number of young people gathering in large groups in various places across the county, but Essex Police has taken immediate action by deploying public order officers to disperse such groups. This early intervention has meant we have not seen any large scale disorder.

Last night (Tuesday) Police officers arrested a 17-year-old man from Clacton for incitement to commit violent disorder after comments were published on Facebook encouraging people to gather at a location in Essex and cause disorder. The man remains in police custody. We also arrested two teenagers from Grays and South Ockendon, for using social networking websites for incitement to commit violent disorder. Essex Police is monitoring social media and will not tolerate anyone who uses the internet or any electronic communication device to send inaccurate and false messages intending to incite disorder, or cause alarm.

Essex Police has a robust plan in place and is utilising additional resources by calling officers and staff in to work on their rest days. We have been providing support to colleagues in the Metropolitan Police Service. We currently have between 50 – 100 officers in London at any one time from within our establishment of over 3000 police officers, over 400 PCSOs and several hundred Special Constables.

Your support is important to us. When you are speaking to the public please help us by reassuring them that Neighbourhood Policing teams remain in place across Essex and Police Officers, PCSOs and Special Constables are working in communities to ensure a high visibility policing presence. Essex Police is doing all it can to ensure Essex remains a safe place to live and work and will continue to work with partners across the criminal justice system to ensure that any criminality is dealt with swiftly and robustly.

You can also assist the police by encouraging the public to call 999 if they witness any incidents taking place or to call our non emergency number 101 or 0300 333 4444 to pass on information or intelligence.

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