Street pastors patrol Loughton

Written on . Posted in Community, Crime and safety, Loughton, Out and about, Your area

The first patrol by Loughton Street Pastors along Loughton High Road was made on the evening of Friday 20 April 2012. After a commissioning service at Loughton Baptist Church, the street pastors made their first patrol to engage with young people on the streets to care, listen and chat.

Loughton Street Pastors is made up of 21 volunteers from 6 local churches. They will be paroling the Loughton High Road area each Friday night from 10pm to 2.30am. The group was set up to help visitors to the High Road area stay safe, and to deal with any issues that might arise.

Working alongside other agencies such as the Council and emergency services, the Loughton Street Pastors are funded by Epping Forest District Council, Essex Police, Loughton Town Council and Epping Forest Safer Communities Partnership.

You can find out more at the Street Pastors website and if you feel you can be of any help please email

J9 campaign launched to combat domestic violence

Written on . Posted in Business, Crime and safety, Residents, Your community, Your home

J9 LogoThe J9 Domestic Violence Initiative is named in memory of Janine Mundy and was started by the family and the local Police in Cambourne.

Janine Mundy was killed while her husband was on Police bail, he strangled his wife in front of their two youngs sons and tried to fake her suicide by hanging her from a stairwell by a noose, again in the presence o their children.

Safer Communities at Epping Forest District Council are looking for local businesses and services that can assist in the J9 campaign to stop domestic abuse and help victims to seek the help they so desperately need. We have training courses, leaflets and pink A4 information packs to distribute to shops and businesses in the district to display for people to obtain contact details to get help.

Safer Communities Officer Caroline Wiggins promotes J9 

Caroline Wiggins, Safer Communities Manager said: “The campaign raises awareness of domestic violence and also gives victims the opportunity to ask for support.

“Many victims’ partners are very controlling and out shopping or accessing local services in the community may be the only opportunity they get to make this sort of call from a safe environment.”


What can you do?

  • Display information in your premises which is available to your customers.
  • Train one or more of your staff in the awareness of domestic abuse.
  • When trained display the logo in a prominent position, so those victims know where they can obtain the relevant information, to access the support they need.
  • Epping Forest District Council will arrange for your staff to be trained and will provide leaflets and information packs.


What can you do now?

  • Contact the community safety team at Epping Forest District Council.
  • We will send information to you to display so it is accessible for your customers.
  • We will contact you to advise you when training will be available for your staff.
  • When trained display the logo and start helping to save lives.
  • Email
  • Telephone the Safer Communities Team on 01992 564608


Did you know?

  • More than one in four women (28%) and around one in six men (16%) had experienced any domestic abuse (any emotional, financial or physical abuse, sexual assault or stalking by a partner or family member) since the age of 16. These figures are equivalent to an estimated 4.5 million female victims of domestic abuse and 2.6 million male victims. British Crime Survey 2008/09
  • Sixteen per cent of victims of partner abuse in the last year had reported the abuse to the police, a similar level of reporting to that found in 2004/05. British Crime Survey 2008/09
  • Over half (59%) of the victims had told their friends, relatives or neighbours, 16% told the police and 12% told someone at work.
  • In 90% of domestic abuse incidents children are in the same or the next room.
    (Hughes, 1992)
  • Even when it appears that children aren’t being directly abused themselves, research shows that they are likely to be aware of what is happening. One third of children will try and intervene during attacks, and children sometimes feel guilty if they don’t come to their parent’s aid.


What is domestic abuse?

“Any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between adults, aged 18 and over, who are or have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender.” Family members are defined as mother, father, son, daughter, brother, sister and grandparents, whether directly related, in-laws or step-family.


Christmas gifts for refuge children

Written on . Posted in Crime and safety, Residents, Your home

“Christmas is especially hard for families in refuges, these gifts will hopefully bring them a little bit of happiness during the festive season” said Caroline Wiggins, manager of the Safer Communities partnership in Epping Forest.

Staff from the council and other local organisations have worked together and donated presents to the children in refuges this Christmas.

“Living in a refuge is never easy and Christmas can be particularly difficult. Rates of domestic violence rise around the festive period, often leading to more families seeking refuge” continued Caroline, “The gifts donated will hopefully make this difficult time easier for the children affected by domestic violence. The women usually leave their homes with few possessions. They don’t have extra clothes, toiletries or toys for their children. In order to stay hidden, women often can’t tell their families and friends where they are, missing out on knowing that people are thinking about them.”

“Christmas and New Year should be a time of joy but for many people living in fear of violence or abuse in their own homes it can be very difficult. If you are a victim, or if you suspect you know a victim, help is available. Domestic violence is not a private matter and everyone needs to be involved in helping victims. The work carried out in refuges and by all the support services is of vital importance.”

If you or someone you know needs help, call the Freephone 24 Hour National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247 or Safer Places on 0845 0177 668. Anyone in immediate danger should call 999.

Local refuges provide a safe haven for around 80 women and 130 children in Ongar, Harlow, Broxbourne and Southend this Christmas. Thanks to the generosity of the following local organisations, every child in our refuges will receive a gift this Christmas.

Staff at Epping Forest District Council
St Winifred’s Church Chigwell
Homestart Epping Forest
Loughton Family Centre
Woodburn Shoot Syndicate
Caroline Wiggins, Safer Communities manager talked to Ray Clark on BBC Radio Essex about the women’s refuge in Harlow.

Listen the the interview on BBC iplayer (go to 2.06.30)

Essex ‘Shaken and Slurred’

Written on . Posted in Community, Crime and safety, Licensing, Out and about, Regulations, Residents, Your area, Your community, Your home

Alcohol Awareness week aims to raise public awareness of the long and short term issues that can arise from alcohol misuse, and how this can impact on the lives of families and friends as well as the individuals themselves. More information about Alcohol Awareness Week can be found at Alcohol Concern website.

Within the last decade we are seeing a marked increase in alcohol consumption, particularly among young people and women. Caroline Wiggins the Safer Communities Manager said: “I believe that it is more important than ever for people to be educated about the effects of alcohol”.

Essex Drug and Alcohol Action Partnership are running a campaign called Shaken and Slurred, which is aimed at binge drinkers. The campaign will be launched during alcohol awareness week and will run for six weeks, leading up to Christmas and the New Year.

The campaign is based around a thirty second video that shows in a humorous way how excessive drinking affects others and the importance of drinking responsibly.

Every hour more than 100 people go into hospital in England and Wales with an alcohol-related condition.
Every day more than 40 people die as a result of alcohol in England and Wales.
Every week more than 100 children call ChildLine upset about their parents’ drinking – some as young as five years old.
Alcohol consumption has nearly doubled since the 1950s.
It is estimated that 2.6 million children in the UK are living with parents who are drinking hazardously and 705,000 are living with dependent drinkers.
More than 100 children, including children as young as five, contact ChildLine every week with worries about their parent’s drinking or drug use.

Drivers warned over deer accident risk

Written on . Posted in Crime and safety, Out and about, Residents, Your community


deerPlease pay particular attention when driving through the Forest at this time of the year, autumn is the deer ‘rutting season’ and can cause additional road safety hazards for deer and drivers alike.

As the temperature drops at this time of year, fallow deer enter into a breeding cycle called ‘the rut’. This can last for several weeks, depending on the weather, and is particularly late in starting this year due to the warm spell we experienced in October.

During the rut, the bucks seem to become less aware of the dangers around them, such as cars on the roads throughout the Forest.

At this time, sadly, there are more road vehicle collisions involving deer. Please be particularly mindful of the potential for deer to run into the roads when you are driving throughout Epping Forest.

It is also important to keep disturbance of the deer in Epping Forest to a minimum during the rut, and dogs in particular should be kept under very close control.

Deer advice

The Highways Agency advice to drivers is:

  • when you see deer warning signs, check your speed and stay alert
  • if your headlights are on, use full-beams when you can, but dip them if you see deer, as they may ‘freeze’
  • more deer may follow the first one you see
  • be prepared to stop, but try not to suddenly swerve to avoid a deer; hitting oncoming traffic or another obstacle could be even worse
  • if you have to stop, use your hazard warning lights
  • do not approach an injured deer, it could be dangerous

You should treat a collision with a deer as an emergency, especially if someone is injured or if vehicles or deer in the road are a safety risk. Ring 999 for the police or ambulance service immediately.

Information on the rut

The fallow bucks (males) develop enlarged necks and throats, the Adam’s apple becomes more prominent and they develop a deep grunt. The bucks will hold a stand where the ground is scraped using antlers and feet and they then urinate causing a strong smelling mud. This, along with the noise and size of the buck, will draw in the does (females).

Bucks will have to defend this area from others. If there is a great difference in size between the bucks the larger will deter the smaller animal, if, however, the difference is not that great the bucks will look at any weakness in the his opponent, this will involve parallel walking and could eventually lead to a fight where the bucks will clash with their antlers until the loser will run off leaving the victor to his territory and the does. Injuries, often quite serious, can occur at this time to the deer.

Muntjac (or barking deer) are much smaller than fallow deer and breed throughout the year. They are also non-herding. Muntjac bucks have very sharp canine teeth several inches long and should not be approached as a serious injury could be inflicted.

Youth Council advice on staying safe

Written on . Posted in Crime and safety, Residents, Young people, Your community

Epping Forest youth councillors have been working hard during the school holidays producing a personal safety video and a guide on reporting crime to help young people to stay safe.

Have safe are you? Be aware

This video has been produced for schools to raise pupil’s awareness of being safe. Their message includes advice on using public transport, personal safety, looking after belongings and alcohol awareness.

The video was launched at St Mary’s Church in Loughton in July. The Chairman of Epping Forest District Council Councillor Ken Angold-Stephens, vice-chairman Councillor Brian Rolfe, Essex County Councillor Valerie Metcalfe, and representatives from the Suzy Lamplugh Trust and Essex County Fire and Rescue Service were amongst the guests.

The project was funded by the Youth Opportunity Fund and Epping Forest District Council. The youth councillors worked with the ‘ignite’ youth group at St Mary’s Church, Loughton and the Roding Valley High School.

Youth councillors have also produced a ‘How safe are you?’ booklet, which supports the video, with top tips for young people on how to stay safe. The booklets will be distributed in September to all secondary schools in the Epping Forest district.

How to report a crime’ cardA new number to call 1010 - when its less urgent than 999

Youth councillors have produced a young persons’ guide on ‘How to report a crime’. The wallet-sized card promotes the new national non-emergency number 101.

Having consulted with numerous young people, a majority said they did not know how to report a crime or an incident. David Eyles the Epping Forest cross border officer said that statistics do not show if young people are reporting crimes.

Youth Councillor Scarlet Stock said: “We want to promote the new non emergency number 101 amongst young people as we feel they need to be aware of the resources available to them.”

“We worked alongside the safer communities team who helped to fund the card, giving young people information on how to report a crime. We hope that by reporting a crime, it will help to reduce crime. We also received funding from ‘Think Big’ to enable every young person in the district to receive a copy of the guide.”

The ‘How to report a crime card’ will be distributed to all secondary schools in the district.

Police praised by council leader

Written on . Posted in Crime and safety, Democracy, Leader, Your community, Your council

The Leader of Epping Forest District Council has expressed support for Essex Police Service and sought to reassure local residents and business people. Councillor Lesley Wagland praised local police after the disturbances in London. She said: All decent people will have watched the scenes of violence and disorder unfolding on our TV screens with shock and abhorrence. Perhaps even worse than the original law-breaking was the copycat violence on subsequent nights.

Councillor Wagland is keen to reassure local residents and business people that everything is in place. So far, it is business as usual and Epping Forest District has remained largely free of the disturbances although the clouds of smoke drifting over London have been clearly visible from the district. Whilst Epping Forest District Council is not an emergency service, its emergency plans are well tested. The council is well prepared to react positively to any request for assistance from the police or other emergency services.

Councillor Wagland said: Essex Police are obviously monitoring the situation in London, neighbouring counties and our own area closely. They appear well prepared to nip potential attacks in the bud. I have received briefings on two small-scale incidents in Buckhurst Hill and Loughton on Monday night. I want to offer my congratulations to our local police for the swift action that left the alleged perpetrators under arrest and further damage averted.

In a statement issued on Tuesday 10 August Derek Benson, Deputy Chief Constable for Essex Police elaborated.

He said: 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.

Councillor Wagland said: I would like to add my whole-hearted support to Essex Police for the work they are doing. If any good is to come of the dreadful scenes played out on the streets of London recently, it is that the decent people in our communities must stand together in total rejection of this mindless criminality and support our police in the difficult and dangerous work they are doing on our behalf.

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

The Essex Police website is updated with the latest information throughout the day and night, and is the best place to look should the situation change.


Tell us what you think about crime

Written on . Posted in Consultation, Crime and safety, Your council

The Council’s Safer Communities Team would like your help. They want your views on your local area. What do you think about your local public services? Do you think CCTV helps prevent crime? What crimes do you feel you experience in your own area?

Epping Forest District Council is working in partnership with the police, probation, fire service, NHS and the county council to identify the concerns of people who live or work in the district about crime and disorder.

Councillor Penny Smith Safer and Greener portfolio holder said: “This is an opportunity for people to have their say about what concerns they have locally in relation to crime and disorder. Our findings will be used to drive the priorities of the Safer Communities Partnership in its activities to target and reduce crime and anti-social behaviour in the area.”

All surveys should be completed no later than 30 September 2011.

Residents Voice Safety Concerns at Debate

Written on . Posted in Consultation, Crime and safety, Media, Residents, Young people, Your community, Your home

Community Safety tree image

Gangs and knives, cutbacks, cross border crime, domestic violence, alcohol related anti-social behaviour, young drivers accident rates and community payback.

An audience of local people came along to the Community Safety Question Time Debate to pose challenging questions on these topics to a panel of local experts in an evening of lively debate.

The debate, filmed at Epping Forest college in Loughton, was presented by BBC Radio Essex’s Dave Monk and saw representatives from the Police, NHS, Fire, District and County Councils, and the probation service quizzed by members of the local community on issues that mattered to them.


Introduction by Dave Monk
Introduction by Dave Monk
  0:00:00 / 0:00:00


Watch the debate with direct links to all the questions below:

Watch the Community Safety Question Time Debate

    The expert panellists were:
  • Stuart McMillan, Essex County Fire and Rescue Service Assistant Divisional Officer for Harlow and Epping Forest;
  • Neeve Bishop, Essex Probation Trust Offender Management Team;
  • Alan Ray, Essex Police District Commander for Epping Forest District;
  • Councillor Penny Smith, Epping Forest District Council Safer and Greener Portfolio Holder;
  • Caroline Skinner, NHS West Essex Senior Health Improvement Specialist;
  • Yvette Wetton, Essex County Council West Area Co-ordinator;
  • John Gilbert, Epping Forest District Council Director of Environment and Street Scene.

Displays showcasing the work of the Epping Forest Safer Communities Partnership were on display outside the auditorium. Audience members and college students were asked what the top 3 priorities for the partnership should be.

    The results were:

  1. Anti-social behaviour;
  2. Domestic violence;
  3. Drugs.

The debate was the finale to a two week programme of events called “Safe ‘n’ Sound in Epping Forest” providing help and advice on keeping you safe.

Essex Domestic Abuse Awareness Week

Written on . Posted in Community, Crime and safety, Media, Older people, Residents, Young people, Your community, Your home

This week is Essex Domestic Abuse Awareness Week and Essex Police has joined with Essex County Council and local domestic abuse forums to stand up and say There’s no excuse for abuse.

To mark Essex Domestic Abuse Awareness Week a short video has been produced to push home the message that there really is no excuse for abuse.

Information and advice can be found on the Essex Police website.

Domestic abuse police units are always available to help. You can contact the Harlow, Brentwood and Epping local domestic abuse police unit on 01279 625431.