onlineFOCUS – News and Stuff For Rochford District since 2003

 

Archive for Crime & Policing

A Shocking Day At Hambro Parade

Armed robbery today at the Hambro Post Office …. the Echo have a brief report here.

Our best wishes and thoughts to everyone there.

“Systemic Failure”

essex police logo

There’s been some grim news emerging today – about how Essex Police have carried out investigations of child sexual abuse in North Essex.

The BBC have a disturbing report on it here:

A police force has apologised to alleged child abuse victims after it found problems with 30 investigations involving 59 children.
One police officer has been suspended and 11 others have been put on restrictive duties by Essex Police.
Some cases are said to involve a “lack of honesty or integrity” by officers.

The Independent newspaper is blunter. It begins its report with:

Vulnerable children were left at the mercy of child abusers after a rogue police unit delayed the arrests of suspects during more than three years of systemic failure, officials said.

The Police and Crime Commissioner Nick Alston writes on his blog about it here:

Early indications are that the problems relating to the quality of investigation and management of investigations identified in the North Child Abuse Investigation Team do not appear to be replicated in the West and South teams….
…. As Police and Crime Commissioner, I will continue to support the efforts of the overwhelming majority of police officers, PCSOs and police staff who work tirelessly to protect the people of Essex from harm. However, where officers are found to have failed in their fundamental duties, then firm and swift action must be taken….
….When I was elected Police and Crime Commissioner in November 2012, I knew that Essex Police needed to transform its approach to tackling domestic abuse, and I made this a priority in the Police and Crime Plan for our county. Much excellent work has taken place under the leadership of the Chief Constable, and I believe Essex Police’s new processes and increased commitment to partnership working are helping to address the horrors of domestic abuse
It is now clear that a similar focus is needed to ensure child sexual abuse is tackled as professionally as possible in our county. I am committed to ensuring that the hidden harms of child sexual exploitation, online grooming, ‘honour’ based violence and people trafficking become a priority for Essex Police….

The Chief Constable writes about it here and finishes with:

….If any victims or families are worried about child abuse investigations by Essex Police I would urge them to call our special helpline number on 01245 282103.
If you are currently suffering from abuse, or believe someone that you know is, you should call us immediately on 999. My officers will do their very best to protect you.

Essex Police Federation Speak Out

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The Essex Police Federation (the trade union for Essex Police) is launching a campaign against cuts.

To quote them:

We have chosen to run this information and awareness campaign because we believe you the tax paying public have a right to know what the £72.5 million cuts to the policing budget mean to you.
How cuts will affect you. That crime is not falling; it is changing.
That Cuts have consequences.
Essex Police Federation represents the rank and file police officers in your county. We are police officers ourselves and like all officers in Essex we joined the police to serve and protect the public.
For the first three months of 2015 we will be giving you information that you are entitled to know. What you do with that information and knowledge is for you to decide.
Only those with knowledge and those making the decisions can stop the erosion of your police service…..

That line “…crime is not falling; it is changing” is interesting, hopefully they will enlarge on that.

Read About Complaints Against Essex Police

Police Commissioner Nick Alston’s office has just published the latest quarterly report detailing Essex Police complaints and conduct matters.

You can download it here.

Here’s an extract (click on it to enlarge):

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The Essex Eye

the essex eye

OnlineFOCUS readers may be interested in a newish website called “Essex Eye”. It has local crime news and crime prevention advice. It’s not altogether clear who’s writing it. The site conveniently collects together information that’s been published elsewhere.

There is almost too much crime data to look at , including links to monthly crime figures for each council ward!

“Early on, I identified sickness levels as a matter of concern…”

essex police logo

This week the Essex Police Commisioner, Nick Alston, has been writing about the increasing amount of duty days lost by Essex Police due to anxiety, depression or stress:


Since becoming Police and Crime Commissioner, I have been scrutinising all aspects of Essex Police performance. Early on, I identified sickness levels as a matter of concern.

The figures show that in 2009-10, for police officers, an average of 7.68 duty days per year was lost to sickness. By 2012-13, this had risen to 12.10 duty days, and stayed at a level of over 12 days per officer during 2013-14.

The impact of reported anxiety, depression and stress is also clear in the figures. In 2009-10, when there were more officers than now, 5,132 duty days were lost to anxiety, depression or stress. By 2012-13, this figure had doubled to 10,521. In 2013-14, the number of police officer duty days lost to anxiety, depression or stress was 11,238, or over 3 days per officer. This figure is worryingly high. Clearly, the root causes of this increase must be properly understood and managed, with officer welfare at the heart of everything that is done.

The most significant increase in duty days lost occurred in the run-up to and during the major Essex Police organisational restructure known as Blueprint, between 2011 and 2013. All organisations need to examine how they operate, to see if alternative models might be more effective and efficient. I do not criticise Essex Police for exploring the implementation of a “functional” policing model, with more centralised control and tasking of officers, PCSOs and staff. It is to the credit of Essex Police that the Blueprint model was kept under constant review by the then Chief Constable. Chief Constable Kavanagh has now made the decision to return the force to a model with more local supervision and control of policing resources at its heart….

Full statement here.

Clare’s Law

Essex Police have a video explaining “Clare’s Law”:

The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme, more widely known as Clare’s Law, allows the public to request information about someone they suspect may be at risk of being violent towards a partner. The law was introduced after the coroner at the inquest of murdered Clare Woods, suggested that women need to know of someone’s history…

 
Find out more here.

Be VERY Careful At The Bank

From the Echo yesterday, a useful warning:

CASH machine users have been told to be on guard after two jamming devices were found on ATMs.

The skimmers were found by two customers in Rayleigh High Street on Friday morning.

Police were informed at 6.45am and 7am by customers using NatWest and Santander cash points.

The devices made it appear that their cards had been swallowed when actually they were stuck in the machine, ready for a suspect to steal.

It is believed thieves either look over the card owner’s shoulder or film them entering their PIN to then use themselves and steal their cash.

Thankfully no cash was lost by either informant.

ATM users are reminded to check the machine has not been tampered with before they use it and shield they keypad when entering their PIN.

Anyone with information about people seen loitering in the High Street or acting suspiciously should call PS Steve Joynes at Rayleigh Nieghbourhood Policing Team on 101.

How To Protect Yourself From Malicious Software

desktop computer

From the National Crime Agency website:


The National Crime Agency is warning people they have two weeks to save their computers from a powerful malicious software attack. The malware called GOZeuS is hiding within attachments in emails and, once downloaded, enables hackers to access computers and scan them for valuable information.

If no data is found, a second malware, known as CryptoLocker, locks the computer, displays a window with a countdown, and demands a ransom to grant access again.

According to the NCA, people are asked to pay 1 Bitcoin (£200 – £300) to regain access to their files.

The NCA is advising people to make sure security software is installed and updated, by running scans and checking that computer operating systems and applications are up to date….

Get information here on how to keep your computer safe and follow the advice as soon as possible. Here is part of it:

This page has been created to help you protect your computer, your finances, your identity and your family against a new global online threat. The threat is targeted at random private individuals and small businesses, so it is critical that you read this page and apply our advice immediately if you have a computer running any version of the Windows operating system – including Windows running as a virtual machine on an Apple Mac, any server running Windows and Windows embedded. This is not a case of isolated attacks, as over 15,000 computers in the UK alone are thought to have been already affected.
What you need to do NOW…
—-
Go to one of the links to internet security software companies at the bottom of this page to download a free tool to scan for Gameover Zeus and CryptoLocker, and remove them from your computer. We advise you do this even if you haven’t had a communication from your ISP.
Do not open attachments in emails unless you are 100% certain that they are authentic. Click for more info.
Make sure your internet security software is up-to-date and switched on at all times. Click for more info.
Make sure your Windows operating system has the latest Microsoft updates applied. These normally include the latest security precautions. Click for more info.
Make sure your software programs have the latest manufacturers’ updates applied. These normally include the latest security precautions. Click for more info.
Make sure all of your files including documents, photos music and bookmarks are backed up and readily available in case you are no longer able to access them on your computer. Click for more info.
Never store passwords on your computer in case they are accessed by Gameover Zeus or another aggressive malware program. Click for more info.
———
This warning is not intended to cause you panic but we cannot over-stress the importance of taking these steps immediately. This is because the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) has taken temporary control of the communications used to connect with infected computers, but expects only a very limited window of opportunity to ensure you are protected.

No Extra Police , But More Local Policing

essex police logo
From the Essex police website, the Chief Constable writes about a big decision – to switch from centralised policing to more local policing:

Having discussed this with Nick Alston, the Police and Crime Commissioner, I now want to share my plans with you.
To invest 500 officers in local policing I will align about 400 centrally controlled response officers to the local policing teams and make carefully considered reductions to our firearms, roads policing and public order capabilities.

 

Full article here.

No Changes In Knife Crime In Rochford – Still 30 Cases A Year

The Essex Police Commissioner website has the latest  figures knife crime in Essex :

knife crime

So it’s down slightly in a few districts, level in Rochford and with a 31% increase in Southend.

The police commissioner Nick Alston, writes:

Knife crime is down in some of our districts, and the bulk of the increase is concentrated in the areas of Basildon, Southend and Tendring.  It is likely that part of this specific increase is due to the changing demographics of some of our communities, increased reporting of domestic abuse incidents, and police activity around organised criminal groups.  I am working closely with the Chief Constable to ensure we fully understand the nature of these crime patterns…..

….. Around a quarter of the offences, 395 offences or 26 per cent, were for possession of a knife or bladed item.  I will continue to support proactive policing to take weapons off our streets, and bring those carrying weapons to justice.  As PCC, I will also continue to support the ethical and proportionate use of Stop and Search tactics to target those carrying weapons or dealing in drugs.  I believe the vast majority of the people of Essex are in agreement with such an approach.

I believe in firm but fair policing.  I also believe that our judiciary should continue to have the ability to judge individual cases on their merits.

 

Beware of Phone Scams .. You Think You Are Phoning Police But They Keep The Line Open

beware_phone_scam_349

From the Essex Police website, a nasty story of how an elderly lady was targeted and conned out of her savings:

A woman aged in her 80s has been left without money to pay her bills after her entire £14,000 savings were stolen in a telephone scam carried out by tricksters posing as a detective and bank official. Mrs M, who lives in the Maldon area, does not wish to be identified but has spoken out to warn others of the fraud which has continued across Essex since January 2013….

…..Mrs M was tricked on Tuesday April 29 but did not realise she was a victim of a complex scam until Thursday May 1 when she saw a local newspaper report warning of tricksters operating in the Maldon area.

The fraud started shortly after midday when Mrs M received a phone call from a man calling himself ‘Matthew Taylor’ and claiming to be from her bank branch in Maldon.

‘Taylor’ claimed that the bank had been contacted by the Met Police about a problem with Mrs M’s bank account.

She was then asked to dial 999 and ask for ‘Det Con Bailey’ at Charing Cross police station. She dialled the number and a female ‘operator’ put her through to ‘Bailey’.

But it was all a con. ‘Taylor’ had kept the line open when Mrs M dialled 999 and instead of talking to a policeman she was put in touch with another trickster…..

Full piece here.

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500 HOUSES BETWEEN LONDON ROAD AND RAWRETH LANE

There's lots of information on the District Council website about the planning application "North of London Road ". To see it , just click here.

The Core Strategy

This is the official master document for planning policy in our district! To download it, click here click here. (2.5mb)

Planning Applications…

If you want information on a particular planning application, you can find it on the District Council website here.

If you want to know what new planning applications have been submitted this week, click here.

Reporting A Problem

If you want to report a problem, you can email Lib Dems councillors by clicking here.
There's also an independent website called FixMyStreet. It's very good for reporting minor street problems like holes in the road, grafitti or failed streetlights. You can find FixMyStreet here.

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To find the food hygiene rating for eating places and other businesses in our district , click here.

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