Stop Hate UK helpline for Essex

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

Stop Hate UK is a new helpline covering Essex providing independent, confidential and accessible reporting and support for victims of all forms of hate crime and discrimination.

Their 24 hour number 0800 138 1625 acts as a source of emotional support, advice, and as a reporting pathway for the user. The existence of the helpline now gives Essex a true 24 hour service for reporting hate crime.Stop hate crime 0800 138 1625 24hour helpline

Stop Hate UK helpline

The main advantages of the helpline are

  1. It is 24 hours
  2. They will provide immediate support and then refer the caller to Victim Support if they need further local support (and the service user consents)
  3. They can advise over a number of matters. Service users can approach them for advice over what to do, how to report, how to access support, whether something is or isn’t a hate crime\hate incident, the police process, etc.
  4. They can take reports of hate crime\hate incidents. This can be done anonymously

A zero tolerance policy on abuse

Councillor Gary Waller Safer, Greener and Transport Portfolio Holder said: “We live in a relatively tolerant country but we must not be complacent. Last July Epping Forest District Councillors unanimously backed a motion condemning racism, xenophobia and hate crime.”

“We must have a zero tolerance policy on abuse based on people’s ethnic origin, nationality, religious belief or sexual orientation.”

A devastating impact

Councillor Waller continued: “Hate crime can have a devastating impact on victims and witnesses who may feel unable to speak to the police. The Stop Hate UK helpline offers callers many ways to report hate crimes and incidents. These include phone, text, text relay, web chat, online forms, post and email.”

“All contacts are confidential and ongoing support will be offered. They will refer people to other services, including the police, but only where consent has been given by the caller.”

MiLife promotes positive mental health

Written on . Posted in Community, Crime and safety, Health, Media, Our activities, Out and about, Residents, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home

MiLife is an innovative new programme for young people to teach them about positive mental health and dispel the common myths and misconceptions that exist. MiLife is aimed at 11–16 year olds.

It aims to raise awareness through education to end the stigma and discrimination faced by people with mental health problems.

EFYC working with actors during rehersals for MiLife

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

MiLife roadshows

The MiLife programme was started following the 2015 Epping Forest Youth Conference. Young people who attended listed mental health as one of the top issues concerning them.

The MiLife Roadshow visits secondary schools in the Epping Forest district. Pupils watch a theatre piece acted out by the Red Balloon Family theatre group which tackles issues relevant to them. Thoughout the performance an explanation of positive mental health and building resilience gives the pupils the tools to support themselves and their peers.

Additional support is offered to any young person who feels that they would benefit.

MiLife website

A website designed to be safe and secure for young people to go to for help and advice has been set up.

Youth Councillors from Epping Forest Youth Council helped design MiLife, working with

  • North East London NHS Foundation Trust (NELFT)
  • Epping Forest District Council (EFDC)
  • The Red Balloon Family
  • Essex County Council (ECC)

A healthy and happy mind

EFYC Youth Councillor Matthew Tinker was involved in the project from its beginning said: “The MiLife project is a really great youth led project that has allowed the young people of Epping Forest to understand their own personal mental health in greater detail.

The project aims to give young people a greater understanding of what to do if they feel mentally ill but also how to help themselves keep a healthy and happy mind. I strongly believe greater mental awareness will lead to a reduction in youth crime rates as young people can understand now when they need to see professional support.”

“I am so proud of our project and the great impact it is having on my peers and my friends.”

Help address mental health issues

Mrs Lorna Rolfe, High Sheriff of Essex met with youth councillors and praised them for being so advanced in addressing mental health. She said: “I was delighted to visit Epping Forest’s Youth Council on Tuesday evening at their monthly Council meeting. They, along with NHS NELFT gave an excellent presentation about their project MiLife. I was impressed by their knowledge, commitment and enthusiasm.”

“This is a dynamic group of young people who are in tune with their fellow students and are giving their time freely in order to help address mental health issues. We know that the Prime Minister has recently stated that tackling child mental health is a priority but Epping Forest Youth Council have already recognised the problem and are in schools now, confronting this scourge of modern life with imaginative, positive and insightful solutions.”

“Their initiative deserves nothing but praise and encouragement and I wish them every success with their endeavours.”

Interactive DIY care package

Diane Butler, EFDC Youth Engagement Officer said: “The MiLife web page includes an interactive DIY care package called a MiBox, a box with items that provide comfort and help to lift moods when feeling down. The MiBox can contain anything that is meaningful and helpful to the young person.”

Digital innovations in young peoples mental health

Emma Selby from the Emotional wellbeing and mental health service at NELFT said: “We pride ourselves on our digital innovations in young peoples mental health and we are so excited to be collaborating with Epping Forest Youth Council on making their fantastic MiLife roadshow a National Resource. The youth councillors have worked incredibly hard and produced a top class resource that we believe every young person would benefit from accessing.”

Delighted at their response

Debbie Lake Deputy head teacher from Davenant Foundation School said: “The EFYC’s roadshow MiLife was such a success. All years appreciate the presentation, they responded to the both the content and techniques adopted by the team. We were surprised and delighted at their response.”

“The involvement of local students through the Epping Forest Youth Council brought a reality to the presentations and content which got through to students. To see Joseph Pascoe one of our own students actively involved in the day and instrumental in its planning gave our students confidence in the team. Thank you to all the organisations and individuals involved.”

Training pack

A training pack for teachers and youth workers is available so they can continue the discussion and include practical self-help tips.

Find out more at the MiLife website at or call Di Butler Youth Engagement Officer on 01992 564365.

Meet your local police officers

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

Essex Police are holding a local community meeting in Buckhurst Hill on Wednesday 22 March 2017.

Local Community Meeting Buckhurst Hill 22-3-17

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 22 March 2017


6pm to 7pm


Roding Valley Hall, Station Way, Buckhurst Hill, IG9 6LN

Nu Bar license temporarily suspended

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chigwell, Commercial properties, Community, Crime and safety, Environmental health, Epping, Licensing, Local business, Loughton, Media, Ongar, Out and about, Residents, Uncategorized, Waltham Abbey, Your area, Your community, Your environment

The Nu Bar in Loughton has had its licence suspended pending a full hearing at Licensing Committee on 7 March 2017.

Licensing notice

Alleged breach of licence

An expedited review was brought by Essex Police after an incident took place in the bar in the early hours of the morning on 5 February 2017, alongside an alleged breach of licence conditions.

Temporarily suspended

A council spokesperson said: ”The decision was taken by Licensing Sub-Committee Councillors to temporarily suspend the licence, which means any licensable activities are not permitted to take place in the interim period between now and the full Licensing Committee hearing unless an interim hearing is applied for by the licence holder.”

Final decision on 7 March

They continued: “A final decision will be reached at this meeting, which is scheduled for 7 March 2017. At the hearing Councillors will assess the evidence brought by Essex Police and make the decision to either amend the licence or it’s conditions, allow it to remain in place or revoke the licence completely.”

The applicant, Essex Police Chief Inspector Lewis Basford said: ”Essex Police is continuing to work around the issue of public safety and crime and disorder in the night-time economy.”

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