Beware of bogus Police Officers

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

A group of males have recently been involved in committing distraction burglaries in the Basildon, Brentwood and Thurrock areas, by posing as Police Officers.

They have fake but very convincing Essex Police Identity Cards and use these to trick and scam their way into vulnerable people’s homes with the intent to steal cash and valuables. They have to date mainly been concentrating on elderly females, but everyone is at risk.

Secure, protect, prevent image by Essex Police

If a bogus police officer calls

If anyone calls at your property posing as a police officer please do not let them in without first checking their identity.

Please telephone 101 to verify that the person at your door is a bona-fide officer.

Best advice is not to open the door to anyone you do not know or are not expecting. A good tip is to open an upstairs window if possible and speak to the caller, asking their details, before opening the door until you are certain who they are.

If you mention that you are going to call the police to verify their identity, a valid police officer will be happy to wait whereas it is likely that a bogus caller will disappear quickly.

Please try and note a brief description of the person at the door and give this to the police if the caller proves not to be a bona-fide officer.

Other bogus callers

Other types of bogus caller also pretend to be from utility companies or similar organisations.

The above advice applies in all cases. Some general advice is given below

  • Representatives from water, gas and electric companies rarely visit without appointments. Genuine callers make appointments in advance and will always be happy to wait while you check their identity. Some utility companies now also operate a password scheme for extra security – please call your provider for details.
  • Police or bank officials would never visit you or call you by telephone and ask for your bank details or ask you to withdraw large sums of cash.
  • Be wary of strangers who call unexpectedly. If in doubt keep them out!
  • Bogus callers succeed because they’re believable – they’re well practised and will have a convincing story and set of excuses ready.
  • Next time the doorbell rings remember – check before you open the door.

Who to call

If you suspect you, or someone you know has been visited by a bogus caller please call the Police as soon as possible – you may well prevent other crimes occurring.

Meet your local police officers

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

Essex Police are holding a local community meeting in Loughton on Wednesday 25 January 2017.

Local Community Meeting Loughton 25-1-17

Find out more about what’s going on in your local area and meet with your local policing team. This is an open meeting and all members of the public are welcome.


Wednesday 25 January 2017


7pm to 8pm


St. Mary’s Church, 201 High Road, Loughton, Essex IG10 1BB

Refuge grateful for generous donations

Written on . Posted in Community, Crime and safety, Local business, Media, Out and about, Residents, Supporting business, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home

A local refuge supporting women, men and children affected by domestic violence thanked council staff and members of a Chigwell church for their Christmas gift donations.

Safer Communities manager Caroline Wiggins and Safer Places Joanne Majauskis

Safer Places

The congregation of St Winifred’s Church in Chigwell together with staff at Epping Forest District Council collected hundreds of Christmas gifts for children at the Safer Places refuge in Harlow.

Safer Places is an independent charity which provides a comprehensive range of services to adults and children affected by all forms of domestic abuse.

Thank you

Joanne Majauskis, Head of Programmes and Practice at Safer Places said: “Living in a refuge is never easy, and Christmas can be particularly difficult. It’s a sad fact that levels of domestic violence tend to rise around the festive period, often leading to more families seeking refuge.”

“I’m very grateful that the congregation of both St Winifred’s Church and staff at Epping Forest District Council have again shown us their support by donating presents for our children.”

Joanne ended with: “Thank you all for your generosity. Hopefully your kindness will make this difficult time easier for those women and children in Essex who are fleeing domestic violence.”

Need support?

If you need support


Rise in attempted burglaries

Written on . Posted in Community, Councillors, Crime and safety, Housing, Media, Older people, Out and about, Private housing, Residents, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home

Residents are being warned of a rise in attempted burglaries at properties in the Epping Forest district where burglar alarms are fitted.

Fortunately these incidents have been recorded as attempted burglaries as no entry was gained due to the alarm activating. Burglars nearly always target houses where no alarm is fitted so we are concerned why this is happening.

Secure, protect, prevent image by Essex Police


It could be for one of these reasons

  • if a house is fitted with an outside alarm box which is metal (all new ones are plastic) that is rusted, damaged or dirty, a burglar may think the alarm has not been maintained and not in use
  • most alarms have a deactivation period to allow you to get into the house and disable the alarm. Many residents allow themselves 60 seconds but this also gives a burglar 60 seconds in your home before the alarm sounds. In most cases this only needs to be around 20 seconds
  • Is your outside alarm box clearly visible from the approach to your property and does it have a flashing light fitted to warn a potential burglar off? It may be that the burglar was not aware there was an alarm fitted. As the saying goes “it pays to advertise”. Most alarm boxes have a flashing light fitted to them to attract any potential burglar to its presence and to warn them off

Free and impartial advice

For free and impartial advice contact

  • Tony Ellis – Essex Police Crime Prevention Assistant for the Epping Forest district
    Call 101 ext 319383
  • Ross Brazier – Essex Police Crime Prevention Tactical Advisor at Loughton Police Station
    Call 101 ext 313416
  • Paul Gardener – Epping Forest District Council Community Safety Officer
    Call 01992 564608

Don’t give burglars a chance

Councillor Gary Waller Safer, Greener and Transport Portfolio Holder said: “Windows, doors, patios, garages are all ways into a home for a burglar – make sure yours are locked and secure.”

“Always report any suspicious activity to Essex Police straight away. Either report it online or call the 101 non-emergency crime number. Don’t give burglars a chance – let’s work together to keep the Epping Forest district safe.”


Job centres help domestic abuse victims

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chigwell, Community, Councillors, Crime and safety, Doing business with the council, Epping, Jobs, Loughton, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our performance, Out and about, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Working with the council, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Job centres across Essex are part of the J9 initiative, providing safe and discreet contact points for victims of domestic abuse to access support and advice across the County.

J9 at Loughton Jobcentre

J9 trained staff at Loughton Jobcentre with Community Safety Manager, Caroline Wiggins and Safer Greener and Transport Portfolio Holder, Councillor Gary Waller 

Trained to help

The council have trained Jobcentre staff to look out for the signs of domestic abuse and to help victims access the support they need when approached by those in need of help. They have a range of leaflets and information about local and national organisations and hold information packs for people to access when the Jobcentre is open to the public.

Pink heart logo

The pink heart logo signals that the location is a place where any domestic abuse issues can be discussed with staff in a safe environment.

Loughton Jobcentre

Mike King, Operations Manager for Harlow and Loughton Jobcentre said: ‘’We are really pleased at Loughton Jobcentre to get the help we need from Epping District Council to turn us into a safe place where people can come and disclose domestic abuse get the support they need, from our J9 trained team. We offer lots of help and advice for those looking for work and the J9 project pulls it all together’’.

Increased awareness

Epping Forest District Council’s Safer Greener and Transport Portfolio Holder, Councillor Gary Waller said: ”Our Community Safety team have worked hard to get as many organisations on the J9 training as possible and to their credit, they have now reached over 400 trained personnel across Essex, which is outstanding.”

He continued: ”Working in partnership with our Jobcentres has not only helped increase awareness for the J9 initiative, but has also increased opportunities for victims to obtain help and support. The important thing is that people feel they are not alone and we that there are places they can go to look for advice and help’’.

J9, In memory of Janine Mundy

J9 was named in memory of Janine Mundy, a victim of domestic abuse that was killed by her husband. The initiative aims to provide a wide variety of places for victims to report domestic abuse and access information in a safe place.

J9 trained staff tops 400 across Essex

Written on . Posted in Business, Community, Councillors, Crime and safety, Local business, Media, Older people, Out and about, Regulations, Residents, Supporting business, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home

Since the launch of the J9 domestic abuse awareness programme in Epping Forest back in 2012, the Community Safety Partnership have now trained over 400 public sector and voluntary staff across Essex and progress continues with increasing momentum.

J9 trainees

Raising awareness

The J9 initiative aims to raise awareness about domestic abuse and training provided by the Epping Forest Community Safety Partnership gives valuable guidance to staff that are often the first point of contact for people that are victims of domestic abuse.

Providing support

The initiative provides a network of resources, support and advice for victims that are in desperate need of assistance. The distinctive pink heart logo identifies a place where victims and concerned relations can access information and guidance safely and discretely.

Growing influence across Essex

Safer, Greener and Transport Portfolio Holder Councillor Gary Waller said: ‘’Following the successful launch of J9 across all 14 of the Job Centres in Essex last year, we are delighted to see the project gain even further influence across Essex this year too.’’

‘’We are working closely with Chelmsford, Tendring, Castlepoint and Basildon Community Safety Partnerships to provide more training opportunities for staff across Essex. We have also been working closely with Essex County Council to promote the initiative and raise awareness during Domestic Abuse Awareness Week 2016.’’

He concluded: ‘’It is vital that we work with as many organisations as we can, to ensure that we can help as many victims as possible across Essex. We need to make it clear to victims that they are not alone and that there are places that they can go to get the advice and support they need to thrive, especially in times of great difficulty.’’

Find out more

Contact us if you are an organisation interested in training

#OurDay the people behind your local services

Written on . Posted in Arts, Business, Chairman, Community, Councillors, Countrycare, Crime and safety, Environmental health, Epping, Food safety, Health, Housing, Housing repairs, Local business, Loughton, Media, Museum, Older people, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Out and about, Regulations, Residents, Supporting business, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Tuesday 15 November 2016 is #OurDay. #OurDay is a yearly tweetathon for local government to show what it does in a typical day.

Here are just a few of the people behind your valued Epping Forest District Council services.

Karen & her lifewalkers set off from Clayton Hill on a mild autumn morning

View photos in a slideshow by clicking on a picture below and then click start slideshow

Helping the distirct ‘stay well this winter’

Written on . Posted in Arts, Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Crime and safety, Epping, Health, Housing, Housing repairs, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our attractions, Out and about, Residents, Sports, Waltham Abbey, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home

‘Stay well this winter’ events have been taking place across the district preparing residents for the colder months.

Stay well this winter

Health and wellbeing event

These free events in partnership with the West Essex Clinical Commissioning group include:

  • Advice on managing prescription medicines
  • Advice on where to access to help i.e. pharmacies, NHS Choices, GP, NHS111 or A&E
  • Informative talks from pharmacist, nurses and specialist health care advisors
  • Free health care checks
  • Free Lunch

The event also includes useful help and advice from:

  • Age UK
  • Care line
  • NHS falls prevention
  • The Alzheimer’s society
  • Community Agents
  • Trading Standards
  • NHS Nurses
  • East of England Ambulance
  • East od England Fire Service

The events conclude with some light entertainment from ‘Elvis’ and a goody bag.

View photos in a slideshow by clicking on a picture below and then click start slideshow

Know the steps you can take

So far ‘stay well this winter ‘has visited The Zinc Arts Centre in Ongar and The Limes Centre Chigwell.

One participant said ‘The talks were very informative and it was good to have a chance to speak to lots of professional in one place’

Karen Murray, EFDC Community Engagement said: ‘These events are a great opportunity for people to know the steps they can take to protect themselves, family and friends over the colder months and to have a bit of fun together whilst enjoying a performance from Elvis’.

Come and join us

The last ‘stay well this winter’ will take place:

  • Wednesday 16 November

  • 8 Station Road, Loughton IG10 4NX

Please note that the events run all day and include a free lunch.

Booking is required, please call to confirm a place.

  • 01992564226

Cuckooing drug den closed

Written on . Posted in Community, Crime and safety, Loughton, Media, Out and about, Residents, Your area, Your community, Your council

Following a drugs raid by Essex Police at a council owned property in Prescott Green in Loughton, Epping Forest District Council’s Community Safety team get their first closure order granted.

Closure Order

The drugs raid uncovered a situation wherein a vulnerable council tenant was being exploited by a drugs gang. They were running their illegal business from his home, a crime referred to as cuckooing.

The gang members were arrested by Essex Police for anti-social behaviour and drug related offences. A closure order for the address was issued on 6 October 2016 at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court.

Protection of residents

Safer, Greener and Transport Portfolio Holder Councillor Gary Waller said: “We are extremely pleased with this result. A closure order gives the council the power to close a property and to prevent certain people having access, by listing authorised visitors. Anyone that enters the property without permission will now risk arrest for breaching this order.”

Designed to tackle serious anti-social behaviour

Councillor Gary Waller continued: “Closure orders are designed to tackle serious anti-social behaviour. The order was necessary in this case as a means to provide local residents with a break from the nuisance the gang caused them on a regular basis and most importantly, to give the vulnerable adult the help and support he needs.”

He continued: ‘’We take the safety of our residents very seriously and this is a great result for the local community and us. Thanks are due to our partners for working closely with us to achieve this outcome.’’

Report crime online

Report non-emergency crimes at council offices

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chigwell, Community, Councillors, Crime and safety, Democracy, Doing business with the council, Epping, Local business, Loughton, Media, Noise, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Out and about, Residents, Supporting business, Waltham Abbey, Working with the council, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Epping Forest District Council have provided an online reporting point where people can report non-emergency crimes and minor traffic collisions to Essex Police.

Working in partnership with Essex Police

A computer terminal has been installed in the reception area in the civic offices, High Street, Epping, for members of the public to access Essex Police’s website and online reporting services.

Access to other reporting services

The terminal will also provide residents with access to our reporting services for issues such as fly tipping, noise nuisance, missed bin collections, benefit fraud and links to Essex County Council where highways issues can be reported. The front counters of both Epping and Loughton police stations closed to the public in April this year. Loughton remains an operational base.

Reassuring presence

Chief Inspector, Denise Morrissey said: ”We know people have an emotional attachment with their local police stations. They provide a reassuring, visible presence in the community.”

”However the reality is that many, including Epping, were greatly under-used by the public and we cannot afford to keep buildings open which are expensive to maintain at a time when we are having to make huge financial savings.”

”We also need to modernise the way in which the public can contact us. Many people prefer to report non-emergency collisions and crimes online and our new website allows this.”

”Thanks to our partners at Epping Forest District Council people can now walk into the council offices and use this computer terminal to access information about Essex Police and our online reporting services whilst going about their other daily business.”

”However we would still encourage people who need us in an emergency or who are in immediate danger to dial 999.”

Computer access point – a real bonus

Councillor Gary Waller, portfolio holder for Safer, Greener and Transport at Epping Forest District Council said: “Anyone with a home computer or smart phone can access the Essex Police website anywhere, but for the significant number of local residents still offline, or for those visiting the town who are away from their computer or device, the computer access point at Epping Forest District Council will be a real bonus.”

”Residents will be able to report non-emergency crimes whenever the offices are open. We are not the police and our office is not a police station, but I hope people will appreciate the ability to drop in and use our facilities when the need arises.”

Working with Essex Police

Convenient way to contact Essex Police

Roger Hirst, Police & Crime Commissioner for Essex said: ”I welcome the provision of this access point in the heart of the Epping community, and thank the district council for their close working with Essex Police.”

”I encourage everyone to report crime and anti-social behaviour to police and partner agencies. You can also use the terminal to report minor traffic collisions. I hope you find this facility in Epping’s civic offices provides a valuable and convenient additional means of contacting your police force.”

Online reporting point

Reception staff are trained to assist people who may need help using the computer terminal. The online reporting point will be available to the public during the civic offices opening hours

  • 9am to 5.15pm Monday to Thursday
  • 9am to 5pm on Friday
  • Closed on Saturday and Sunday