Designated Public Place Order Starts

Written on . Posted in Community, Crime and safety, Epping, Your area, Your community

Image of bottles used on DPPO signs

A Designated Public Place Order (DPPO) covering the Stonards Hill and Lower Swaines recreation grounds in Epping started on Thursday 20 August 2009 to help deal with problems of alcohol related anti-social behaviour.

The DPPO does not make it an offence to consume alcohol within a designated area but it does make it an offence for anyone to drink alcohol after being asked by a Police Officer not to do so. It also provides powers for the Police to confiscate and dispose of alcohol in any person’s possession and arrest them if they fail, without reasonable excuse, to comply with the Officer’s request.

Pictured from left - Councillor Syd Stavrou, Bill Towers, Caroline Wiggins and PC Gary Harrington

A DPPO may be enforced by a police officer, a police community support officer (PCSO) or an accredited person. If they suspect a person has recently drunk alcohol or intends to drink alcohol in a DPPO, in order to prevent public nuisance and disorder, police can require a person to stop drinking alcohol (or anything believed to be alcohol), hand over the containers they are drinking from (sealed or unsealed) or hand over any other containers believed to contain alcohol.

Pictured from left to right are Epping Forest District Council Councillor Syd Stavrou, Epping Town Council Town Superintendant Bill Towers, Epping Forest District Council Safer Communities Manager Caroline Wiggins and Neighbourhood Specialist Officer PC Gary Harrington

    The 2 areas covered by the DPPO are:

  1. Epping, Stonards Hill Recreation Ground, Stonards Hill, includes car park, scout hut, Jack Silley Pavillion car park, tennis courts, football stand and ground.
  2. Epping, Lower Swaines playing fields, incorporating the public footpath running along the boundary of St Johns School from Lower Swaines to Bury Lane. Garages behind 2 Lower Swaines, Epping and public land and highway extending from St Johns School outside numbers 2 to 18 and 1 to 43 Lower Swaines.Pictured from left - Bill Towers, PC Gary Harrington, Councillor Syd Stavrou and Caroline Wiggins

The Community Safety and Transport Portfolio Holder for Epping Forest District Council Councillor Mrs Syd Stavrou said: “August 20th marks the start of a very welcome initiative to give police more powers to stop this minority of anti-social drinkers from causing a nuisance in these areas. The Order is not designed to ban people from drinking and enjoying alcohol in a responsible way, it is designed to help maintain a peaceful atmosphere in our open spaces and reinforce the message that this type of behaviour will not be tolerated.”

Signs have been erected at both locations showing the areas subject to the DPPO. Penalties for non-compliance include a penalty notice for disorder of £50, arrest and prosecution for a level 2 fine (maximum of £500) or bail conditions that can stop the individual from drinking in public.

Epping Forest District Council with support from Essex Police and Epping Town Council agreed to adopt a Designated Public Place Order (DPPO) under Sections 12 to 16 of the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001 as amended by Section 26 of the Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006 and the The Local Authorities (Alcohol Consumption in Designated Public Places) Regulations 2007.

Crucial Crew Pupils Learn Personal Safety

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

Over 1,300 pupils visited Gilwell Park in Chingford from Monday 8 June to Friday 19 June 2009 to take part in the annual Crucial Crew event.

Crucial Crew is an interactive safety initiative based around key life skills that target 10 to 11 year old children. Crucial Crew teaches children how to tackle the dangers they may encounter in everyday life and helps prevent them, in a very interactive way, becoming involved in crime.

Pupils were taught how put somebody in the recovery position

It is designed to help the children to cope with dangerous situations, accept responsibility for their own safety, learn social responsibility and make sensible decisions based on acquired knowledge.

Pupils shown a mock up of a road accident involving a young cyclist

    Crucial Crew is based very firmly on four principles:

  • Children learn by doing
  • Crime prevention and personal safety education can be challenging and exciting
  • Everyone is concerned about crime prevention and personal safety
  • The most effective way of tackling the problem is a partnership approach

Chairman Penny Smith with Crucial Crew 2009 staff

Superintendent Simon Williams, Essex Police said: “Crucial Crew is a fun way to prepare children to remain safe in a variety of emergency situations and to be aware of dangers they are likely to encounter as they advance through life. Messages are conveyed through interactive role play allowing children to react to the problems they encounter and to learn how to make the correct choices about their personal safety.

Pupils shown the importance of recyclingThis year children each received a copy of our new personal safety workbook with further information and advice on dealing with dangerous situations and how to make positive choices regarding behaviour. The publication, with an introduction by John Gilbert, Chair of the Epping Forest District Safer Communities Partnership, complements the Crucial Crew experience and will act as both a classroom and family resource.

David J Bailey, Head Teacher at Stapleford Abbotts Primary School said: “Pupils and teachers both found Crucial Crew to be an exciting and informative event. It raised issues around crime prevention and personal safety that schools find difficult to address in the classroom. The feedback from pupils who attended was extremely positive and I hope that all the children take on board the importance of personal safety.”

Debbie Towns from the All Ways Educating said: They all really enjoyed the way the scenarios were presented and they have discussed it at length ever since! All parents and children were extremely impressed at how well organised the session was.

James from All Ways Educating wrote: Dear Crucial Crew, I learnt very much including how to put somebody in the recovery position, how to avoid peer pressure and many more interesting things to do. I enjoyed it very much and I hope you can do this again.

Sally Smalley from All Ways Educating wrote: My boys were buzzing when they came out of Crucial Crew this morning. They were really impacted by it and keep mentioning things they had learnt. They particularly liked the discussion on bullying as they have experienced this and were glad to hear they did the right thing.

Feeling Good Keeping Safe

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

Older people in the Epping Forest District will soon be entertained by a touring play informing them of how distraction burglaries are carried out, and to help them to recognise bogus callers and refuse them entry. A preview of the play ‘Feeling Good, Keeping Safe’ was performed at Theydon Bois Village Hall on Wednesday 29 April 2009. It was organised by the Epping Forest District Safer Communities Partnership and performed by volunteers from the Roding Valley U3A (University of the Third Age).

Volunteers from Roding Valley U3A performing the Feeling Good, Keeping Safe at Theydon Bois

The aim of the show is ‘to improve doorstep crime awareness and avoid becoming a victim’ through the powerful medium of drama. It shows how burglars work and provides audiences with the necessary techniques to keep themselves safe on their doorstep.

 There were 162 offences of distraction burglary reported in the Epping Forest District between 2006 and 2008. In most categories of crime, younger people are more likely to be the victims but with distraction burglaries the trend is reversed with the average age of victims being 81. According to national figures on doorstep crime there are 19,000 offences against older people reported every year, but the real figure may be much higher. A `Help the Aged` survey in 2002 suggested the number of people falling victim to bogus callers in the UK could be as high as 300,000 in the previous 12 months. Research has shown a large under-reporting of incidents as to victims can often feel foolish or embarrassed or even not being aware a crime has been carried out.

Audiences are shown techniques to keep themselves safe on their doorstep

John Gilbert, Chairman of the Epping Forest District Safer Communities Partnership attended the preview of the play and said: “I found the presentation ‘Feeling Good, Keeping Safe’ to be very informative and entertaining. It’s a great way of getting this vitally important message to those who are most at risk from doorstep crime. Whilst the Epping Forest District is a very safe place to live, this does not prevent criminals from targeting the most vulnerable within our communities, particularly the elderly and infirm who often live alone. It is our priority to inform and protect those who may be at risk from bogus callers both at the doorstep and on the telephone.”

Mr Gilbert continued: “We (the Safer Communities Partnership) will continue to support this initiative and look to see how we can provide the same information and support to those unable to attend the shows.”

U3A are committed to lots of shows in the District this year are looking for suggestions for future venues and audiences. If you have a suggestion please contact Caroline Wiggins by email to or by telephone on 01992 564122.

    Future performances are listed below:

  • Wedsnesday 3 June 2009 at 9:45am
    Buckhurst Court, Albert Road, Buckhurst Hill, Essex IG9 6EH
  • Wedsnesday 10 June 2009 at 9:45am
    Leonard Davis House. Kiln Road, North Weald, Essex CM16 6BS
  • Tuesday 7 July 2009 at 1:45pm
    Frank Bretton House, Bansons Way, Ongar, Essex CM5 9EY
  • Thursday 23 July 2009 at 1:45pm
    Pelly Court, Hemnall Street, Epping, Essex CM16 4NA
  • Thursday 6 August 2009 at 2pm
    Chapel Road, Epping, Essex CM16 5EE
  • Tuesday 22 September 2009 at 2pm
    Epping Methodist Church Hall, 119 High St, Epping, Essex CM16 4BD
  • Monday 28 September 2009 at 2:15pm
    North Weald Village Hall High Rd, North Weald, Epping, Essex CM16 6BU

Crime In Your Community Survey Prize Draw Winner

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

Congratulations to Shelagne Sheldrake of Ongar, the lucky winner of a £100 Marks & Spencer voucher for completing Epping Forest District Council`s `Crime in your Community` online survey.  Chairman of Council Councillor John Knapman picked the winning number from the replies received.  

Epping Forest District Council`s Safer Communities Partnership undertook the survey between February and March this year via the Council`s website. The aim of the survey was to establish the public`s perception of crime and whether they felt safe.

The results received were measured against local and national indicators to establish the public`s perception of anti-social behaviour. The results showed 94.6% of people feel safe during daylight while out in their local area and 62.5% of people feel safe after dark while out in their local area. 74.1% of people requested an increase of police patrols, 9.8% feel people being drunk or rowdy in public places is a very big problem and 75.9% feel property crimes (vandalism and theft) is the biggest problem where they live.

The results of the survey, carried out over a month from mid February to mid March, will be used to assist in the setting of priorities for the coming year for the Partnership.

Chairman of Council Councillor John Knapman said:  I would like to thank all those who took the time to respond to our survey.  It really is very helpful when planning where to direct resources to know what our residents think about crime and safety.

Civic Awards 2009 Community Service Medals

Written on . Posted in Chairman, Civic events, Community, Crime and safety, Loughton, Ongar, Residents, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home

You can watch the awards presentation in full. Click the back button at the bottom of the page and click the link to watch the webcast.

Community Service medals are awarded to members of the Emergency Services who have made a special contribution or shown care and dedication well above and beyond the call of duty.

Police Community Support Officer Hayley Toye

Chairman John Knapman with PCSO Hayley ToyeEpping Forest District Council supports its local PCSOs, and works in partnership with them and Essex Police, and provides funding. As a result there has been real benefits from the introduction of PCSOs. No-one illustrates that better than the winner of the Epping Forest Police Community Service Medal for 2009.

Hayley Toye is a dedicated Officer serving the neighbourhood of Debden. Well known by local Councillors, residents and young people, she has made a particularly strong impact on anti-social behaviour. Her strength lies in talking with people and listening to them.

Building relationships and trust, Hayley has tackled problems as diverse as graffiti, racial abuse, shoplifting and inconsiderate parking. She uses her initiative to find new ways of communicating with local young people, one particular notable example being her Halloween disco.

Essex Ambulance Service Paramedic Brian Clark

Chairman John Knapman with Louise SamouelleBased at Ongar Ambulance Station, Brian Clark has been saving lives since 1980.

He is described as a `lovely, caring gentleman ` and he can be unaware of his impact on the people around him. Attending a minor emergency, Brian was surprised when the patient recognised him as the man who had saved his life years earlier. He has a reputation for remaining calm and level headed in pressurised and extreme situations.

Brian plays a big part in the social calendar of his station and the same friendly approach has endeared him to many of the new recruits he has mentored and trained over the years.

Brian is unable to receive his Community Service Medal in person but representing him at the awards presentation is Brian’s manager from the Essex Ambulance Service, Louise Samouelle.

Civic Awards 2009 Young Citizen of the Year

Written on . Posted in Civic events, Community, Crime and safety, Residents, Young people, Your community, Your council, Your home

You can watch the awards presentation in full. Click the back button at the bottom of the page and click the link to watch the webcast.

The Young Citizen of the Year Award

The Epping Forest District Young Citizen of the Year for 2009 is Darnell Margurite.

Young Citizen of the Year Darnell Margurite and Chairman John Knapman

The Young Citizen of the Year Award was awarded to a young man who has made a tremendous difference to his local community.

In the past Limes Farm has had a bedevilled reputation for social issues and crime but more recently the Estate has enjoyed a much better atmosphere, lower levels of crime and less anti-social behaviour. The Young Citizen of the Year for 2009 has played a key role in the transformation.

He has given young people on the Estate something to do. Only 19 years old himself, he has worked with a close friend, Ben Wooley, to set up a football project for 8 to 13 year olds. It has not been easy. He has faced and overcome some very challenging behaviour, honing his own skills as a football coach and winning the respect of the Estate.

His efforts have not gone unrecognised elsewhere. Watching his voluntary work on Limes Farm, he came to the notice of Tottenham Hotspur, which has offered him a coaching role within their Football Foundation. His enthusiasm, dedication and hard work have marked him out as a true role model.

Crime Reduction at Limes Farm

Written on . Posted in Chigwell, Community, Crime and safety, Democracy, Residents, Working with the council, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home

Residents at Limes Farm in Chigwell have been invited to express their views on the dramatic reduction in crime and anti-social behaviour on the estate over the past year.

Organised by the Safer Communities Partnership a Special Action Group has been working with local residents at Limes Farm for the past 16 months and has seen a 31% reduction in crime and a 39% reduction in anti-social behaviour.

From 16 to 20 February 2009 questionnaires were distributed. Residents were invited to the community police office on the estate for a cup of tea to have a chat and fill in a questionnaire about their experiences of actions taken so far.

Some of their comments included:

I am pleased to see more Officers patrolling

There has been less crime

People feel safer on the estate and there is a good community atmosphere

Loughton Inspector Simon Werrett from Essex Police said: “All the hard work has paid off, not only by The Safer Communities Partnership and Police but by local residents working together to really make a difference in improving the quality of life on the estate. They truly believed in making the change and they have succeeded.”

Councillor Syd Stavrou Epping Forest District Council Community Wellbeing Portfolio Holder said: I think these results speak for themselves. There has been a lot of hard work put into this group by many different organisations and individuals. This has shown the value of a co-ordinated problem solving response. Lessons have been learned and the Special Action Group process will become `best practice` for other areas requiring attention in Epping Forest district.

Safer Communities Team Provide Halloween Treat

Written on . Posted in Community, Crime and safety, Your area, Your community, Your home

Epping Forest District Council`s Safer Communities Team joined forces with the Police for Hallowe`en to tackle complaints of nuisance. Safer Communities Officers Paul Gardener, Katie Sparks and Paul Southgate together with Tony Ellis the Police Crime Reduction Officer for the district responded to calls from the public to provide help, advice and re-assurance.

Safer Communities Officer Paul Southgate (top right) with Trick or Treaters and their parentsYoungsters with their blinky lights

The evening started with Officers speaking to groups of young people Trick or Treating to remind them not to call at addresses displaying `No Trick or Treat` posters and to encourage them to act responsibly. As an added road safety measure, officers handed out red flashing lights to make them more visible in the dark. During the course of the evening a number of addresses were attended across the whole district and Officers were able to give advice and re-assurance to residents who had reported youth nuisance.

Tony Ellis Epping Forest District Police Crime Reduction Officer said: Traditionally, Hallowe`en produces a high demand for the increased number of Police Officers on patrol. However, many of the calls we receive relate to instances of nuisance rather than an actual crime. The reason I and Safer Communities staff from Epping Forest District Council patrolled together was to relieve the pressure on Police units by attending minor incidents leaving them to deal with the more serious ones.”

Paul Gardener said: We provided support to the Police allowing Officers to deal with the more urgent calls. The co-ordination between organisations worked very well and this is a service we hope to provide each Hallowe`en.

Epping Town Link

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

Epping Forest District Council`s Safer Communities team, in partnership with the local Police and stores in Epping have joined together to provide a Town Link / Shop Watch Service.

A total of ten shops along Epping High Street will be provided with a hand-held two-way radio to communicate with and alert each other to incidences of crime such as shoplifting.

The radios enable shopkeepers to warn others of any suspicious activity or people quickly and easily. The Council has funded the initial ten radios for the first year at a cost of £3,000, after which the shops will pay for the service. The local Police and Safer Communities Team at the Council will also have radios so that they can react to any incident very quickly and provide assistance if necessary.

Group shot of members of the Epping Forest Safer Communities Partnership

Pictured above are members of the Epping Forest District Safer Communities Partnership. On the top row from left to right are Ryan Scott (Manager of Scott Sports), Colin Freeman (Essex Watch Co-ordinator), Paul Southgate (Epping Forest District Council ASB Investigator), Jonathan Baldwin (Essex Police Chief Inspector) and Craig Carrington (Essex Police Inspector). On the bottom row from left to right are Councillor Syd Stavrou (Epping Forest District Council), Norma Harrison (PCSO – Police Community Support Officer, Caroline Wiggins (Epping Forest District Council Safer Communities Manager) and Gary Harrington (NSO – Neighbourhood Specialist Officer).

Councillor Syd Stavrou Community Wellbeing Portfolio Holder said: The introduction of the Epping Town Link will allow shop workers to communicate more frequently about problems they are currently experiencing and hopefully prevent would-be shoplifters from succeeding. This will provide a safer and better environment for local shoppers.

Chief Inspector Jonathan Baldwin Epping Forest District Commander said: This is an excellent Partnership initiative which provides support to local town businesses. The use of the radios will assist my Officers in preventing and detecting crime directed at the retail trade.”

New Safer Communities Team

Written on . Posted in Crime and safety, Doing business with the council, Your council, Your home

Epping Forest District Council`s Safer Communities Team has grown. The role of this team is to work in partnership with other agencies such as Essex Police and Essex Fire and Rescue Service to reduce crime and disorder.

A total of six officers make up the team. Caroline Wiggins Safer Communities Manager said: Epping Forest District Council has acknowledged the need for closer multi-agency working and we are now in a position where we can lead on key crime and disorder initiatives.

The original team consisted of Caroline Wiggins, Paul Gardener, who co-ordinates operations to tackle crime and disorder and Daniel Bond, who deals with the district`s graffiti removal. It has now expanded to include three new members of staff. Adrian Petty, the CCTV Operations Officer, will manage the District`s existing CCTV as well as oversee all new installations. He said: This is an exciting time to join the Council and I hope to provide a common sense and proportionate CCTV response for the District.

Two anti-social behaviour investigators, Paul Southgate and Katie Sparks, have also been recruited, who both have Local Authority and Police backgrounds. They will work closely with Essex Police, Harlow Youth Offending Service and the Council`s Neighbourhood Officers.

Councillor Syd Stavrou Community Wellbeing Portfolio Holder said: We recognised this team plays a key role in co-ordinating and delivering partnership activities aimed at tackling crime and disorder. We wanted to ensure the Safer Communities Team had the necessary staff to do this and support the Council`s Safer, Cleaner, Greener agenda.